Bhopal: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday pledged to conduct a caste census in the country if his party was voted to power at the Centre.
Reiterating that the Congress is promoting love and brotherhood while the BJP is spreading hatred, Mr Gandhi described the contest between the two parties as the battle of the ideologies of Gandhi and Godse.
Addressing a public meeting on the sidelines of the Congress' "Jan Akrosh Yatra" at Polaykala under Shajapur district in Madhya Pradesh, Mr Gandhi said that a caste census will alone ensure inclusive development in the country, giving justice to different communities, including the OBCs.
“This (caste census) is the biggest issue before the country today. If the Congress comes to power at the Centre, the first thing the party will do is conduct a caste census and make the data on the populations of all the communities public,” he said.
Mr Gandhi claimed that the Congress government at the Centre had earlier conducted the caste census. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not keen to make the census data public, depriving different communities of their true participation in power.
The Congress leader also demanded the provision of an OBC quota in the women’s reservation before its implementation.
Mr Gandhi said that the Congress is fighting the ideologies of the RSS and the BJP since the saffron parties are spreading hatred in society, whereas his party is promoting love and brotherhood.
Mr Gandhi accused Mr Modi of implementing the RSS agenda to spread hatred and violence.
The Congress leader attacked the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government for failing to provide a fair price to the farmers for their produce.
He said that the Congress government in Chhattisgarh has given a fair price to the farmers for their produce by procuring paddy from them at `2,500 per quintal.
Mr Gandhi claimed that 18,000 farmers in Madhya Pradesh committed suicide due to the denial of a fair price for their produce in the last 18 years.
He termed Madhya Pradesh as the "epicentre of corruption" in India and said that farmers and youth of the state had told him during his Madhya Pradesh leg of the "Bharat Jodo Yatra" that the scale of corruption in the state is much higher than that in the rest of the country.
He alleged corruption in the midday meal scheme in the state.
Mr Gandhi said that a scandal broke out in the admission of MBBS courses in different medical colleges in the state, in which seats were found to be sold.
Mr Gandhi also accused corruption in the construction of a holy place like "Mahakal Lok".