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Rahul Wants Caste Census, but Rajiv Gandhi Advocated for ‘Casteless Society’: Parl Records | Exclusive

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Last Updated: October 04, 2023, 15:27 IST

Records show that Rajiv Gandhi had said in Lok Sabha that then VP Singh government was creating a ‘vested interest in casteism and the country is going to pay a very heavy price for this’. (File Photo)

With Rahul Gandhi taking a turn towards a second edition of Mandal politics of the 1990s to counter Narendra Modi, his father and grand-mother took a different approach

Rahul Gandhi has advocated for a caste census and floated the slogan ‘jitni aabadi, utna haq’ but his late father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in Parliament in 1990 had advocated for a “casteless society” and even accused then Premier VP Singh of trying to lead the country into caste wars with the Mandal Commission report.

This perhaps explains the contrast in the Congress approach to the issue of caste-based politics over the years, with Rahul Gandhi now taking a turn towards a second edition of Mandal politics of the 1990s to counter Narendra Modi, while his father and grand-mother took a different approach. “If you think back, it was in 1980 that the Congress under the leadership of Indira Gandhi, had raised the slogan ‘Na jaat par, na patt par’ (not on caste or creed),” Rajiv Gandhi said in a speech in the Lok Sabha on September 6, 1990. The VP Singh government had accused Congress PMs of sitting on the report.

News18 reviewed the speech which saw Rajiv Gandhi, then the Leader of the Opposition, have sharp exchanges with VP Singh as the latter was pushing ahead with the Mandal Commission report. “It is extremely sad that the thinking in this government revolves around caste…VP Singh is causing rift in our society,” Rajiv Gandhi said. He said the “goal of the country must be a casteless society” and one you must avoid taking any step which takes the country towards a caste-ridden society. “Nobody in this House will say that the removal of casteism is not part of that national goal,” he said.

Caste Census Breaking Up India: Rajiv Gandhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has warned that talking about a caste census amounts to dividing the people and the country. Rajiv Gandhi in his 1990 speech in Parliament had similar views about the Mandal Commission report. “…the manner in which you have implemented the Mandal Commission, to me, it is breaking up my country. Even at this late hour, there is time to pull the country back from this caste division,” Rajiv Gandhi said in the Lok Sabha. He said the VP Singh government was creating a “vested interest in casteism and the country is going to pay a very heavy price for this”, the records show.

Rajiv Gandhi also asked why the government was accepting caste as the sole identifier. He said to remove backwardness and poverty, one has to look at the root of the problem and give equal opportunity. “We, the Congress, are in favour of a comprehensive action plan, an affirmative action plan for the backward communities. We need that. The problem cannot be solved by playing politics or by limited politically motivated manipulations,” Rajiv Gandhi said. He said the reality is that caste counts for a tremendous amount in this country. “But what is our goal? Is our goal a casteless society?” the then LoP said in Lok Sabha.

Rajiv’s Dare to VP Singh

Rajiv Gandhi in this debate she personally believed in a casteless society as the goal for a developing nation like India. “The PM does not have the guts to stand up and say whether he believes in a casteless society or does not believe in casteless society. It is very sad, sir,” Rajiv Gandhi said. He further said not let one man’s obstinacy lead to a caste war in India.

“Socially and socially and educationally backward classes need all the help they can get including reservation and the Congress will support you in that. We would like that to be targeted to the poorest and the weakest in the socially and educationally backward classes this the Congress Party has outlined in the Working Committee’s Resolution on August 30 this year,” Rajiv Gandhi said in conclusion of speech.



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‘Write Articles After Smoking Marijuana’: Fadnavis React To Sanjay Raut’s Comment On Nitin Gadkari

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Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis (PTI file photo)

Raut claimed that ‘Modi, Shah and Fadnavis’ conspired against their own party leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to ensure his defeat in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections from Nagpur

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday rebuked at Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut’s claims that top BJP leaders, including PM Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and Fadnavis himself, conspired against their own party leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to ensure his defeat in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections from Nagpur.

Speaking to the media on Monday, Fadnavis dismissed Raut’s allegations, saying, “I have repeatedly said not to ask me questions about Sanjay Raut. I don’t speak about people who write articles after smoking marijuana. I think he is in London, where there is good mental treatment available. He should take the appropriate medications.”

On Sunday, Raut, who is also the spokesperson for Shiv Sena (UBT), alleged in the party’s mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ that Fadnavis had unwillingly campaigned for Gadkari in Nagpur only after realising that Gadkari could not be defeated. Nagpur is the hometown of both BJP leaders.

“Modi, Shah and Fadnavis worked for Gadkari’s defeat in Nagpur. Fadnavis unwillingly joined the campaign for Gadkari when he realised he couldn’t be defeated. The RSS people in Nagpur are openly saying Fadnavis helped the opposition to get Gadkari defeated,” Raut wrote.

Raut further claimed that Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had distributed Rs 25-30 crore in every constituency and used his resources to defeat candidates from the NCP, led by Ajit Pawar.

He further took a swipe at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, suggesting that Adityanath would be replaced if the Modi-Shah government returned to power after the Lok Sabha elections.

(With inputs from agencies)

Explore in-depth coverage of Lok Sabha Election 2024 Voter Turnout, Upcoming Phase, Results Date, Exit Poll And Much More At News18 Website



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Black Money’s Impact On Polls To Rise, Alternative To Electoral Bond Scheme Should Be Found: Shah

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah (File Photo)

Amit Shah believes the influence of black money will increase during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections following the Supreme Court’s decision to scrap the electoral bond scheme

Home Minister Amit Shah believes the influence of black money will increase during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections following the Supreme Court’s decision to scrap the electoral bond scheme, and suggested all stakeholders will have to deliberate and decide on an alternative.

If the impact of black money rises, then an alternative should be found, he said, adding that it is for Parliament to debate and decide on any other mechanism for funding to political parties.

He told PTI in an interview on Saturday that the electoral bond scheme, which allowed donors to fund political parties anonymously by purchasing bonds from the SBI, was scrapped at a crucial time.

The Supreme Court had struck down the scheme in February, a month before the Lok Sabha elections were announced.

Replying to a question on the issue, he said, ”I believe and this is my guess that it will increase the influence of black money in elections and politics. When political parties submit their account for this fiscal year, then how much money is by cash donation and how much is through cheque will be known. The donation figure by cheques had reached 96 per cent at the time of the bond.”

He added, ”Now you will know. If the impact of black money rises, then an alternative should be found. There should be a debate in Parliament.” Asked if he thought the influence of black money would increase in the ongoing elections due to the scrapping of the electoral bond scheme, Shah said, ”I guess so.” When asked what he considered an alternative to the bond scheme, he said the issue needed to be discussed with all stakeholders, including different political parties.

He said, ”This will have to be debated in Parliament. We will have to discuss this with all parties. The Supreme Court’s view since their judgment has come is also very important. The Attorney General and Solicitor General will also have to be consulted. So we will have to deliberate collectively and decide on a new alternative.” The apex court had struck down the electoral bond scheme, saying it violated the right to information and the freedom of speech and expression under the Constitution. The court had also made public the names of all donors and their beneficiaries.

The central government, has, however, insisted that the scheme was aimed at curbing the influence of black money in politics and that donors were allowed to remain anonymous so that they were not targeted by one political party or another for funding their rival parties.

Opposition parties have alleged that the scheme was used by the BJP to ”legitimise” bribery by business interests, a charge rejected by the ruling party as it claimed that its rivals received more funding relative to their electoral strength.

Explore in-depth coverage of Lok Sabha Election 2024 Voter Turnout, Upcoming Phase, Results Date, Exit Poll And Much More At News18 Website

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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UPI Helped Covid Fight, Boosted India’s Position In Global Fintech Ecosystem: PM Modi

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The government led by PM Modi also looked at the G20 as an opportunity to highlight and showcase India’s rich cultural heritage and diversity besides the country’s tourism potential by hosting over 300 cultural events with the participation of over 18,000 cultural artists and experts. (Image: News18/File)

Driven by digital public infrastructure (DPI) models like UPI, the country is now leading the global fintech ecosystem and several countries are ready to embrace the ‘India Stack’ solutions to empower the masses, PM Modi stated

The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) facility played a significant role in India’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, even as several prosperous countries faced problems, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told IANS on Monday.

“If there was no UPI, can someone tell me how we would have fought the battle of Covid? Even the rich countries could not provide money to their people despite having sufficient funds. We gave it easily to the needy,” PM Modi told IANS in an exclusive interaction.

“Today, we can send money to 11 crore farmers within 30 seconds. Now, UPI is user-friendly because of talented youth who create such world-class products that any common person can use,” he said.

Driven by digital public infrastructure (DPI) models like UPI, the country is now leading the global fintech ecosystem and several countries are ready to embrace the ‘India Stack’ solutions to empower the masses, PM Modi stated.

G20 Presidency Established India’s Image In World: PM Modi

Citing that it contributed massively in making India ‘world-ready’ and the world ‘India-ready’, PM Modi said that the country’s G20 presidency last year marked a significant milestone in its global leadership role.

“We held G20 meetings all over the country because the world should know that India is not just only about Delhi. It is also not enough for my country’s tourism industry if people just visit the Taj Mahal. My country has massive potential which needs to be known and understood. We used the G20 as an opportunity to establish India’s image in the world,” PM Modi told IANS in an exclusive interview.

India’s message of ‘one earth, one family, one future’, drawn on an age-old belief of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, was delivered strongly during its one-year G20 presidency which concluded in November last year.

As many as 20 member states, nine invitee nations, and 14 international organisations participated in the 220 G20 meetings that took place in over 60 cities of India held in every state and Union Territory of the country.

While previous G20 meetings have generally been limited to the capital of the country or spread to a couple of other cities, India hosted G20 events keeping in line with Prime Minister Modi’s vision of having a pan-Indian event right till the grassroots level.

The government led by PM Modi also looked at the G20 as an opportunity to highlight and showcase India’s rich cultural heritage and diversity besides the country’s tourism potential by hosting over 300 cultural events with the participation of over 18,000 cultural artists and experts.

“We were highly successful in creating curiosity about India among the world community. More than one lakh policy-makers from the entire world attended over 200 G20 meetings and explored first-hand different places of India, most of which they had not even heard of before. They also correlated things with their own country and kept on talking about India after returning home. I am seeing that the tourist flow has increased enormously after India held the G20 Summit,” PM Modi told IANS.

Emphasising that every city and district of the country has its unique vibrancy and potential, Prime Minister Modi said he makes it a point to spread India’s culture, traditions, and heritage during his foreign visits.

“India is a land of diversities and any country cannot stand tall on just one pillar. I laid strength on ‘One District, One Product’ (ODOP) because every district in India is unique and has its own strength. I want to bring them to the fore. Now, when I go abroad, I don’t have to spend too much time deciding what gift to take along with me. Whether I am going to Africa or Europe, I just have a look at the ODOP catalogue and it is quite easy for me to decide what product to take along with me,” he said.

The Prime Minister has been underlining the need to think out of the box and have a concrete roadmap for the future-ready in every sphere, including tourism, to take India to new heights.

“I have told the External Affairs Ministry that I will measure your success on three parameters. First, how many goods from India are brought in the country you are posted in? Second, which is the best technology in that country which India still does not have, and how can we get it here? And thirdly, how many tourists do you send to India from that country? India and ‘nation first’ is at the centre of every decision I make,” PM Modi detailed in his interview with IANS.

Explore in-depth coverage of Lok Sabha Election 2024 Voter Turnout, Upcoming Phase, Results Date, Exit Poll And Much More At News18 Website

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – IANS)



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