The Congress will conduct a caste census in Madhya Pradesh after winning the assembly polls in the state, said party president Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday, accusing the regime at the Centre of wishing to change the Constitution. He was addressing a public rally in Sagar in MP’s Bundelkhand region.
Assembly polls are expected to be held in the BJP-ruled state at the end of the year.
“Some people are trying to change the Constitution. This is not possible because 140 crore people of the country are in support of the protection of the Constitution,” Kharge said remembering Dr BR Ambedkar, who was born in MP’s Mhow. Kharge criticised the ruling BJP for “remembering” Sant Ravidas, a revered figure for Scheduled Castes, during elections.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently laid the foundation of a Rs 100 crore memorial-cum-temple of Sant Ravidas in Sagar district. As per the 2011 Census, the population of Dalits in MP was 1.13 crore.
“Modi ji is in power for the last nine years while Chouhan (Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan) is ruling the state for the last 18 years. They remembered Ravidas only at the time of the polls,” Kharge said.
Citing a newspaper report, Kharge claimed that the BJP demolished a temple of Sant Ravidas in Delhi.
He announced that the Congress will set up a university in the name of Sant Ravidas in Sagar district if voted to power in Madhya Pradesh. Kharge also said that Congress will conduct a caste-based census in MP after returning to power. Referring to the crisis in Manipur, Kharge accused PM Modi of not doing “anything” to control violence in the northeastern state.
He also alleged that the BJP government has not implemented the Bundelkhand package approved on the recommendation of the senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
Bundelkhand, in north-east MP, has six assembly seats reserved for SCs, and the BJP had won five of them in the 2018 state polls, namely Bina, Naryoli, Jatara, Chandala and Hatta, while the Congress managed to get Gunnor.
Bundelkhand comprises Sagar, Chattarpur, Tikamgarh, Nimari, Damoh and Panna districts, with 26 assembly seats, of which 15 were won by the BJP in the last state polls, while the Congress got nine and one each was won by Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party.
Responding to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who recently asked Congress to tell people what it had done in its 53-year rule in MP, Kharge listed out several institutions, including Bhilai Steel Plant, IIM and IIT in Indore, AIIMS in Bhopal and Chambal Ghati Project.