Lok Sabha Polls 2024 | Life mission to ensure justice for 90% underprivileged: Rahul Gandhi

Taking aim at the Prime Minister for his comments on Congress’s agenda, he said it is a 'revolutionary' manifesto and Modi has 'panicked'.
hemin Joy
Last Updated : 24 April 2024, 08:22 IST
Last Updated : 24 April 2024, 08:22 IST

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New Delhi: In a fiery counter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's attack on Congress’ election agenda, Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said it is “not just a political issue” but his “life mission” to ensure justice for 90 per cent of the underprivileged at a time those who call themselves “desh-bhakts” are scared of an ‘X-Ray’ of the country through a caste census.

The top Congress leader also said the Congress manifesto was also asking for distributing only “a small part” of the benefits given to big businesses to 90 per cent of the population, as he responded to Modi's allegations that the opposition party was aiming at taking away Hindu's wealth and distributing it to Muslims.

Addressing the ‘Samajik Nyay Sammelan’ organised by Samruddha Bharat Foundation here, Rahul also said not a single Dalit or tribal or OBC person was seen at the consecration of Ram temple or inauguration of Parliament building where even the country’s first adivasi President was not invited.

Taking aim at the Prime Minister for his comments on Congress’ agenda, he said it is a “revolutionary” manifesto and Modi has “panicked”. He said Modi used to tell everyone for the past ten years that he was an OBC but the moment he started talking about caste census, the Prime Minister says there is no caste.

“If there was no caste, then how would you say you are an OBC. Then he says there are only two castes – rich and poor. If you say so, then count the poor and you will see 90 per cent of them are Dalits, adivasis and OBCs. You won't find them among the rich. This is not a political issue for me. This is my life mission. There is a difference between political issues and life mission. In politics there could be compromises but not in life mission,” he said.

In his 28-minute-speech, Rahul promised that once a government is formed by the Congress, the first thing on agenda would be Caste Census while highlighting that there is a very minimal presence of OBC, Dalit and adivasis in media, judiciary, private hospitals and big companies among sectors.

“Frankly, I am not interested in caste. I am interested in 'nyay' (justice). Today, injustice is being done to 90 per cent of people of India. Whenever I talk about testing the injustice being done, everyone starts talking about attempting to divide. A patriotic person wants good for India and for that we need to utilise the power of 90 per cent. Those calling themselves patriotic fear the X-Ray,” he said.

Outlining his economic agenda, he said he was not advocating that big businesses should not be helped or encouraged but what he was saying is that if you are giving Rs 100 to them, give a similar amount to 90 per cent. He said they have not even said that some action will be taken but find out how much injustice is done.

Arguing that the Modi-led BJP was keeping the underprivileged at arms length, Rahul said, “when Ram temple was inaugurated, we did not see you (Dalits, adivasis and OBCs). When Parliament building was inaugurated, the president, who is the adivasi to become one, was not there. It means that when it comes to sharing (power), you are out. The Head of the State was to open the Parliament but she was kept out,” he said.

Referring to attacks on him, he said the media used to say he is not serious or interested in politics.

“Land Acquisition Bill, MGNREGA, Niyamgiri, Bhatta Parsaul are not serious? When people talk about the larger population, they say, I am non-serious. Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Virat Kohli are serious (issues)?,” he said.

Published 24 April 2024, 08:22 IST

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