Jind: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday said there are many people from backward communities and classes who are yet to be brought into the mainstream, as he pitched for a caste census in the country.
The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister was addressing a gathering at a rally here organised by Balraj Kundu, an Independent legislator, who represents Meham in the Haryana assembly.
Kundu a few months back floated his own outfit Haryana Jansewak Party. The development comes ahead of the next year assembly polls in Haryana, where the BJP-JJP coalition is in power.
Yadav said his party will continue to work towards ensuring that people from backward communities and classes get their rights and respect.
"We assure you that the way the whole country today wants a caste census because after so many years of independence there are many backward people whose counting could not be done and we could not bring them into the mainstream," the Samajwadi Party (SP) president said.
"There are many castes in the country which do not have any identification. Therefore, a voice which once raised from Uttar Pradesh (for a caste census), is now also being raised in Bihar. We know that people of Haryana also want this (census)," he said.
He said after the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, his party will ensure a caste census in the country so that the people get their rights and due respect.
The Congress has also been demanding a caste census and has promised to get the survey done if voted to power at the Centre. The Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) government in Bihar has already released findings of its caste survey, months ahead of the 2024 parliamentary elections.
Yadav also spoke against the Centre's Agniveer scheme for recruiting soldiers. In the SP's Lok Sabha polls' manifesto, the party will promise to end the scheme, he said.
"I want to say this to you as the youth of Haryana are joining as Agniveers. I want to tell them that whenever Samajwadi Party gets a chance to come to power, we assure you that during the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the first promise in the poll manifesto of the Samajwadi Party will be to end the Agniveer system and restore the earlier system of recruitment," Yadav said.
On the occasion, former Gujarat chief minister Shankersinh Vaghela, among other leaders were also present.