Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India]: Amid the Opposition’s push for caste census and bid to bring it to the front and centre of the national political discourse ahead of the upcoming assembly elections in five states, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said the BJP never opposed such an exercise and will take a call on the same after discussions within the party.
Speaking to reporters in Raipur after unveiling the party’s manifesto for the Chhattisgarh Assembly elections, Shah said, ‘We don’t practice politics of appeasement for votes. We will take an appropriate decision (on caste census) after holding discussions (within the party).
The BJP never opposed a caste census but decisions have to be taken after giving it a lot of thought,’ Shah said.
Meanwhile, speaking on the caste-based census at a press conference in Bhopal on Friday, BJP leader and former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad targeted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi saying he hasn’t done the necessary homework on the issue.
‘Rahul Gandhi has been speaking on the caste-based census. Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh are also following in his footsteps and humming the same tune. The thing about Rahul Gandhi is when someone hands on a chit, he gets stuck on a particular issue. That’s his brand of politics. Earlier, he got similar chits about Rafale, Savarkar and now Nitish Kumar has handed him the chit on caste-based census,’ he said.
The Bihar Chief Minister recently announced the findings of the inaugural caste-based census.
‘I said in the Lok Sabha that Rahul Gandhi does not do his homework and I will say the same again. The caste census in Bihar was flawed on many counts. The rights of extremely backward people were violated and the number of extremely backward people was reduced. For the first time in the country, Muslims have been considered forward, backward and extremely backward,’ he added.
The BJP leader added that as many as 80 of the party MPs were from backward classes.
‘The BJP has the most number of MLAs belonging to OBCs and the extremely backward category. The Prime Minister himself is an OBC. Droupadi Murmu became elected as the first Adivasi President of India. Ramnath Kovind, a Dalit, was also a former President,’ the BJP leader added.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been taking potshots at the BJP over the ‘lack of adequate representation of OBCs’ in secretary-level posts at the Centre.