CM Baghel asserted that such a census would empower the backward and underprivileged sections of society by enabling them to reap the full benefits of various welfare schemes and initiatives.
Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2023: In a bid to garner support for the upcoming Assembly elections, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel unveiled the Congress manifesto, promising a caste-based census if re-elected. He asserted that such a census would empower the backward and underprivileged sections of society by enabling them to reap the full benefits of various welfarist schemes and initiatives. The move is seen as a strategic attempt to consolidate the support of these crucial voter blocs, as per a report covered by ANI.
“We pledge to conduct a caste census in the state if voted back. The census exercise would cover the Scheduled Caste, tribal castes, backward classes, general category and minorities,” Baghel announced after unveiling the party’s manifesto in Raipur on Sunday.
“A census of this kind will not only bring the backward classes to the forefront of the government’s welfarist priorities but also help us conceive and implement schemes for them. A caste census is the need of the hour,” CM Baghel said.
Congress Plan Of Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana
In the manifesto, the Congress has also promised to buy paddy at the rate of Rs 3200 per quintal under the ‘Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana’, if elected again.
“We have also promised to waive off farmers’ loans and purchase paddy at Rs. 3200/quintal as part of the input subsidy under the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana,” the CM said, adding that the party will also provide electricity, upto 200 units, free of cost.
“Women of all sections would get a subsidy of Rs 500 transferred directly to their bank accounts once they refill their cooking gas cylinders,” he added. Earlier, on Friday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the BJP isn’t opposed to a caste-based census and will take a call on the same after discussions within the party.
Party’s Manifesto For Chhattisgarh Assembly elections Revealed
Speaking to reporters in Raipur after unveiling the party’s manifesto for the Chhattisgarh Assembly elections, Shah said, “We don’t practice politics of appeasement for votes. We will take an appropriate decision (on caste census) after holding discussions (within the party). The BJP never opposed a caste census but decisions have to be taken after giving it a lot of thought.”
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar recently announced the findings of the inaugural caste-based census in his state. The elections for the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly will be held in two phases, with the first phase of polling for 20 seats scheduled on November 7 and the remaining 70 seats to go for polling on November 17. The counting of votes will be done on December 3.
(With inputs from agencies)