Rahul Gandhi sees Congress 'tsunami' in Telangana, asks PM Modi why caste census data not released
Gandhi also targeted the BJP and BRS, claiming that both parties have a tacit understanding, a charge denied by BRS working president KT Rama Rao
Questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi on why the results of the caste census conducted by the UPA government were not made public, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said the exercise will be taken up in the country after the Congress comes to power, while addressing several rallies in poll-bound Telangana today.
Exuding confidence that his party will to come to power in the state after the 30 November assembly polls, the MP said, "Congress wave is coming in Telangana, like a tsunami."
He also attacked incumbent chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's BRS government over alleged corruption, particularly in irrigation projects, and targeted the BJP and BRS, claiming that both parties have a tacit understanding, a charge denied by BRS working president KT Rama Rao.
Telangana BJP president G Kishan Reddy hit back at Rahul Gandhi's allegations on the saffron party's "association" with BRS, saying it was the Congress which had entered into an alliance with KCR's party in 2004 and both shared power at the state and the Centre.
I asked the prime minister, if you are supporting OBCs, then why don't you make the data of caste census public?Rahul Gandhi, Congress MP
Addressing corner meetings and public rallies in Bhupalpally, Peddapalli and Karimnagar districts during the Congress' ongoing 'Vijayabheri Yatra' in the state, Rahul Gandhi said the BJP has to be defeated in Delhi and BRS in Telangana, and urged the people to extend their full support to the Congress.
"BRS has to be defeated here in Telangana and the BJP in Delhi. A Congress wave is coming in Telangana like a tsunami. First, it will come in Telangana and next in Delhi," he said.
Gandhi said the biggest issue in the country is with regard to the caste census, which he had earlier termed an "x-ray" that would shed light on the condition of Dalits, tribals and OBCs. He added that the caste census would also determine how the country's funds are being distributed.
The Congress leader accused PM Modi and KCR of remaining silent on the census. "Congress after coming to power in Telangana will conduct caste survey and after winning elections in Delhi (at the Centre) a caste census will also be undertaken in Delhi (for the country)," Gandhi said.
The former Congress president recalled that they had asked Prime Minister Modi to release the caste census data gathered during the UPA regime in 2011. "I asked the prime minister, if you are supporting OBCs, then why don't you make the data of caste census public?" he said.
Urging people to question Modi and Chandrasekhar Rao as to when they will conduct the caste survey and census, he said if the Congress is voted to power in Telangana, the first work his party's government will do is to take up the "X-ray" in the state. "To fulfill the dreams of Telangana, caste survey has to be conducted..." Rahul Gandhi said.
He noted that the Congress-ruled states of Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Karnataka have been asked to announce caste surveys, and claimed that of the 90 topmost officers/ bureaucrats run the country, only three belong to the OBCs (other backward classes) category. "These (OBC) officers control just five per cent of the budget," he said.
BRS, BJP and AIMIM help each other. Any vote to the BJP and AIMIM means vote will go to the BRS. Don't waste your vote. Don't vote for BJP and AIMIM, vote for CongressRahul Gandhi, Congress MP
On the economic front, Gandhi said today, loans worth billions of rupees have been waived for industrialists. "Adani ji takes loans and his loans get waived. Without asking, the loan is waived. But bank loans of farmers, labourers, women and youth are never waived. GST is taken from the pockets of shopkeepers, and it goes into the pockets of Adani," he alleged.
"We don't want such an India. That's why the first step is an X-ray of the country — the caste census. And a new chapter will be written in India's progress," he said. According to him, the "X-ray" will also ascertain how much of Telangana's money the "chief minister's family "looted".
Alleging that Telangana is the most corrupt state in the country, Gandhi alleged that lakhs of crores of rupees had been snatched from the people and the Telangana model of corruption was being exported to other states. The BJP and the Telangana CM have joined hands, he alleged, and cited BRS "support" to the BJP on farm laws and GST.
If Telangana chief minister KCR was really fighting the BJP, why had no cases been registered against him, and why had no ED, IT or CBI probe been launched against him, the former Congress president asked. "I fight the BJP and there are 24 cases against me. I was disqualified from Parliament and my house was taken away. My fight is with the ideology of RSS and BJP," Gandhi pointed out.
Charging Chandrasekhar Rao's family with controlling important departments of the state government, Gandhi said he (KCR) works like a 'raja' (king) and not as a chief minister. "BRS, BJP and AIMIM help each other. Any vote to the BJP and AIMIM means vote will go to the BRS. Don't waste your vote. Don't vote for BJP and AIMIM, vote for Congress," he urged the people.
Gandhi accused the AIMIM (All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen) of fielding its candidates where the BJP wants it to, and said whenever the Congress contests elections against BJP in any part of the country, the AIMIM fields its candidates in that constituency.
During the campaign, Gandhi also interacted with workers and employees of state-owned mining firm Singareni Collieries, and assured them that the mines would not be privatised, claiming there was an attempt to sell them to Adani, but "we got it stopped".
"It is not just a question of Telangana, Adani ji is being helped in the entire country. Wherever you see privatisation is being done. We oppose it. Our workers and farmers have to be protected," he said.
Referring to the five poll guarantees by the Congress which have been implemented in Karnataka, Gandhi said the party would similarly implement all six guarantees announced in Telangana, as soon as it forms the government in the state.
Dismissing Rahul's comments that his party was the B-Team of BJP, Rama Rao today said BRS is not aligned with any party, but people think that Congress is a "C-team, chor team" of BJP.
"When Mr Rahul Gandhi spoke about corruption, it would be considered as a joke of the millennium, because his party is known for A to Z corruption," he said. The BRS working president also said "Rahul Gandhi unfortunately is not a leader, but a reader basically reading out of a script that is provided to him by his party leaders".