If voted to power, INDIA bloc will remove 50% cap on reservation: Rahul Gandhi

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a gathering during the ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’, at Saheed Maidan in Ranchi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a gathering during the ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’, at Saheed Maidan in Ranchi

Ranchi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday promised a nationwide caste census and removal of the 50 per cent cap on reservation if the INDIA bloc forms the government at the Centre after the Lok Sabha polls.

He also alleged that the BJP tried to topple the JMM-Congress-RJD government in Jharkhand as the chief minister was a tribal.

"Want to congratulate all alliance MLAs, (Champai) Soren ji as that they stopped the BJP-RSS conspiracy and protected the government of the poor," Gandhi said at a rally at the Shaheed Maidan here.

Gandhi claimed that Dalits, tribals, Other Backward Classes (OBCs) were made bonded labourers and their participation was lacking in big companies, hospitals, schools, colleges and courts.

"This is the biggest question before India. Our first step would be to get a caste census in the country," the former Congress chief said.

Noting that more than 50 per cent reservation cannot be given under existing provisions, Gandhi promised that an Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance government will "throw out" the 50 per cent cap on reservation.

"There will be no reduction in reservation of Dalits and Adivasis. I am giving you a guarantee that the backward sections of society will get their rights. This is the biggest issue - social and economic injustice," Gandhi said.

He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi used to say that he is an OBC but when the demand for a caste census was made, he stated that there are only two castes -- the rich and the poor.

"When the time came to give rights to OBCs, Dalits, tribals, Modi ji says there are no castes and when it is time to get votes, he says he is an OBC," Gandhi claimed.

Slamming the BJP soon after the Champai Soren-led government won the trust vote in the Jharkhand assembly, Gandhi alleged that the BJP tried to remove the government as it cannot accept that there is a tribal CM.

"The Congress, the JMM stood against them together and government was saved. They do this in all opposition-ruled states through probe agencies and money power. They (BJP) are attacking democracy, Constitution and want to suppress the voice of the people. The INDIA coalition will not let voice of democracy be suppressed," the Congress leader asserted at the rally held during his Manipur-to-Maharashtra Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.