Terming the Centre’s plans on NPR and NRC as “anti-poor”, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav has pitched for caste census as done in the past.
The SP chief’s demand came days after the Odisha cabinet adopted a resolution seeking revelation of caste details in the next national Census.
Akhilesh was addressing party workers at an event in Lucknow to welcome new members to the SP, including leaders of block panchayat level and those who have contested elections in the past.
Referring to an earlier Census, the SP chief said, “We all wanted a caste census but the Congress did not let that happen and the numbers did not come out.”
“The Census will be conducted soon but again we are not going to be counted. The reason is that the day it happens, Hindu-Muslim conflict will come to an end,” the SP chief added.
Criticising the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, Yadav said it had created a rift in that state.
Lakhs of people in Assam found themselves excluded from the NRC at the end of the exercise to weed out illegal migrants, he said.
In an apparent reference to the recent criticism of NRC and National Population Register (NPR), Akhilesh said that the poor would find it difficult to get their date of birth certificates.
“Earlier there were no calendars and birthdays of most people in villages were based on festivals,” he said.
Yadav said the inconvenience people would face due to the CAA and the NPR would be similar to what people went through when the Narendra Modi government demonetised high value currency notes.
“The Bharatiya Janata Party created a rift between the rich and poor through demonetisation and every one was made to stand in queues. Tell me how many farmers benefited. What about the dream of ‘eradicating’ corruption and terrorism through the exercise, what happened to it?” the SP chief sought to know.
Hitting out at the BJP government in UP, the former chief minister claimed that the state had now become “number one in cyber crime, crime against women and children, poor quality midday meals, fake encounters, unemployment and farmer suicides”.
Yadav claimed that the laptops given by the previous SP government to meritorious children were still working, while the toilets provided by the BJP government had stopped functioning.
“Farmers were promised that their income would be doubled and they voted the BJP to power in the state and at the Centre. But what have poor people and farmers got in return? The BJP stole the SP principle of taking everyone along, by coining the Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas slogan,” the SP chief said.