New Delhi: As the Congress batted for a national caste census with an assertion that rights should be proportionate to population, its senior leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi Tuesday created a flutter by saying “it will eventually culminate into majoritarianism”, a remark he later withdrew from social media blaming it on his staff.
Singhvi, who deleted his controversial post soon after the party distanced itself from his remark, also later said that he supports caste census on the basis of which rights would be determined proportionately.
After Singhvi put out the post on X warning of “majoritarianism”, AICC general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in no way does it reflect the position of the Indian National Congress.
As the findings of the Bihar caste census were released on Monday, the Congress has strongly batted for a national caste census with a pitch for “Jitni abaadi, utna haq” (rights proportionate to the population).
“Equality of opportunity is never the same as equality of outcomes. People endorsing #jitniabadiutnahaq have to first completely understand the consequences of it. It will eventually culminate into majoritarianism,” Singhvi earlier said on X.
“Careless forward by a staff which was deleted with a slight time lag when I came out of a felicitation function in the SC and saw it and thereafter deleted immediately,” Singhvi told PTI.
He later told reporters that he stands with the party’s view that there should be a caste census across the country and said he was not at variance with the party’s view.
Ramesh said, “Dr Singhvi’s tweet may be a reflection of his own personal view but in no way does it reflect the position of the Indian National Congress — the essence of which is contained both in the Raipur Declaration 26th February, 2023 and in the CWC Resolution of September 16th, 2023.”
Asked about Singhvi’s views, AICC OBC department head Ajay Yadav said “What Singhvi has said is not the party line”.
“I will not answer to someone who says different from the party line. Our line is that the poor, deprived and Bahujan samaj should be given economic and social benefits,” Yadav said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi while speaking at a poll rally in Jagdalpur said the Congress should clarify whether rights can be given in proportion to the “abaadi” (population) and asserted that poor people have the first right over the country’s resources.
Modi also asked whether the grand old party wants to decrease the rights of Muslims.
Monday, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the caste census of Bihar has proved that 84 per cent of people in the state are OBCs, SCs and STs and their rights should be according to their population.
“Out of 90 secretaries of the central government, only 3 are OBC, who handle only 5 per cent of India’s budget. Therefore, it is important to know the caste statistics of India…,” Gandhi had said in a post in Hindi on X.
The party had also called upon the Centre to immediately conduct a similar exercise at the national level to ensure social justice and provide a firm foundation for social empowerment programmes.
If the Modi government does not carry out a caste census, it will be conducted as soon as the Congress government is formed so that every section can get their right, the opposition party said.
Addressing the ‘Parivartan Mahasankalp’ rally of the BJP at Jagdalpur in poll-bound Chhattisgarh Tuesday, Modi also alleged that the Congress has entered into a secret pact with some other country and was taking pleasure in speaking against India, as he asked people to remain alert.
“Congress says the ‘abaadi’ (population) of people will decide the rights (on resources), but for Modi, poor people are the biggest abaadi of the country and they have the first right over resources. The welfare of the poor is my aim,” he said.
“What would former prime minister Manmohan Singh be thinking? Manmohan Singh ji used to say minorities have the first right over resources of the country and Muslims have the first right over resources. But now Congress is saying the population will decide who will get how much share of rights. Do they want to decrease the rights of Muslims?” he asked.
Whose population is more, PM Modi asked and said will it be possible to ensure “rights according to population”.
“Should Hindus take all the rights? Congress should clarify whether the rights will be given according to the population. Does Congress want to remove minorities?” he said.
The Nitish Kumar government in Bihar on Monday released findings of its much-awaited caste survey which revealed that OBCs and EBCs constitute a whopping 63 per cent of the state’s total population.