Rahul Gandhi, 2024 Lok Sabha Election: Will Remove 50% Cap, Give As Much Reservation As Needed: Rahul Gandhi

'Will Remove 50% Cap, Give As Much Reservation As Needed': Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi today addressed a poll rally at Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh today

Ratlam (MP):

The Congress will remove the Supreme Court-mandated 50 per cent cap on caste-based reservation and increase quota benefits for people from Dalit, backward and tribal communities, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said today.

Addressing a poll rally at Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh, Mr Gandhi said this election is being fought to save the Constitution. “BJP and RSS want to finish this, change this. And the Congress and INDIA bloc are trying to save this. This Constitution has given you rights on jal (water), jangal (forest), zameen (land). Narendra Modi wants to remove them, he wants full power,” he said, holding a copy of the Constitution.

The BJP leaders, he said, had declared that they would change the Constitution if they win. “That’s why they gave the ‘400 seats’ slogan. But forget 400, they are not getting 150 seats. They say they will remove reservation. I want to tell you from this stage, we will increase reservation beyond the 50 per cent cap. We will give as much reservation as needed for the poor, the backwards, Dalits and adivasis,” he said.

Mr Gandhi’s remarks come amid a high-pitched campaign for the Lok Sabha polls and heated exchanges between the NDA and the INDIA bloc on reservation.

The BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has alleged that the Congress plans to tinker with the reservation for backward classes to benefit Muslims. The Congress has denied the allegations. At a rally in Gujarat Banaskantha, the Prime Minister said, “I challenge the ‘shehzada’ of the Congress as well as his party and its supporters to announce they will never misuse reservation in the name of religion, nor will they play with the Constitution or grant reservation in the name of religion.”

At the Ratlam rally, Mr Gandhi said the media does not show news related to atrocities on Adivasis. “Your children are raped, your land is snatched, but media does not report. There is a reason. There are no Adivasis in these media companies,” he said.

Mr Gandhi said 90 bureaucrats run the country’s government. “They distribute the budgets. Only 1 out of the 90 is an Adivasis, three are from backward classes, three from the Dalit community. Your people are neither in the media nor the corporate world. We want to change this. This is why we have decided to carry out a caste Census and an economic survey,” he said.

Mr Gandhi also assured farmers relief in the form of assured MSP and loan waivers. “These are our guarantees. They will change your life,” he told the crowd.

Ratlam votes on May 13 in the fourth phase of Lok Sabha election. The Congress has fielded former MP and former Union Minister Kantilal Bhuria. Anita Nagar Singh Chauhan is the BJP’s pick from the seat they won in the 2019 election.

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