New Delhi: The Congress in Rajasthan has announced that it will carry out a caste census in the state if it wins the upcoming assembly elections on 25 November.
The party’s manifesto, released Tuesday, also promised a new recruitment scheme at the panchayat level, a Rs 2 lakh interest-free loan for farmers, and a minimum support price (MSP) based on the Swaminathan Commission report, which suggested ways to improve agriculture in India between 2004 and 2006.
“We make promises which we can fulfil,” said Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge at the release of the manifesto in Jaipur.
At the launch, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the people of Rajasthan were proud of the way the government had managed the state’s finances.
“The per capita income has increased by 46.48 percent in Rajasthan. It is our dream to achieve the No. 1 position in per capita income by 2030. In 2020–21, the state GDP was 19.50 percent, which was the highest in the decade,” the CM added.
Early last month, the Congress government in Rajasthan, led by Gehlot, had issued an order to conduct a caste survey — days after Bihar became the first state in the country to complete one.
The order, which was issued by the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment after the state Cabinet’s nod, said the government would conduct the survey with its own resources to collect information related to social, economic and educational status of its citizens.
The Department of Planning (Economic and Statistics) will be the nodal department for the work, the government said. However, the order did not provide a timeframe for the count.
After the October announcement, Gehlot had said it took Bihar one-and-a-half years to complete the survey. “We have made a decision for the survey, which is a big thing… We want the economic status of every family to be known, so that they benefit from government schemes in the future,” he had said.
A nationwide caste census is a key agenda of the Opposition’s INDIA bloc, which aims to boost its numbers in the Hindi heartland where caste plays a crucial role in politics.
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