Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release the 2011 caste-based census data in the public domain and also demanded the 50 per cent cap on reservation be removed.
The Congress leader claimed there are only 7 per cent other backward castes, Dalits and tribals as secretaries in the central government.
This is Gandhi's first rally in Karnataka since he was disqualified from Parliament after being convicted in a defamation case last month.
The Congress-led UPA regime had compiled the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) in 2011. The reports from the census have been published except that of the caste data. The 50 per cent ceiling refers to Supreme Court judgments pointing out that the overall reservation in government jobs and education for various communities should not breach the mark although there are exceptions with some states crossing the figure.
"UPA in 2011 did the caste-based census. It has the data of all the castes. Mr Prime Minister, you talk of OBCs. Make that data public. Let the nation know how many OBCs, Dalits and tribals are there in the country," Gandhi said at the Congress' 'Jai Bharat' election rally in Kolar in the run-up to the May 10 Karnataka polls.
Underlining the need to make the data public, he said if everyone has to become part of the development of the country, it is necessary to find out the population size of each community.
"Please release the caste census data so that the nation knows how much is the population of OBCs, Dalits and tribals. If you don't do this, then it is an insult to the OBCs. Also, remove the cap of 50 per cent on reservations," Gandhi said.
The Congress leader also pointed out that the secretaries are the "backbones" of the Government of India but only 7 per cent from Dalit, tribal and OBC communities are appointed secretaries at the Centre.
"The biggest question is how many OBCs, tribals and Dalits are there in India. If we talk of money and power distribution, then the first step should be to find out the size of their population," Gandhi explained.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)