Cong veteran Anand drops letter bomb against Rahul

Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma has criticised party’s support for the demand of caste census across the country. In a letter to Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, Anand Sharma questioned Congress support demand for to caste census when Former Congress PMs Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi had opposed caste-based politics. It is important to note that Congress leader Rahu Gandhi has been quite vocal about the need for caste census in India and has been repeatedly questioning the Modi government for not conduction caste census across the country.

“National Caste Census, has emerged as an important issue in the electoral debate. This has been endorsed by India Alliance led by Congress. Parties of the alliance, also include those which have pursued caste based politics for long. However, the Congress policy on social justice is based on a mature and informed understanding of the complexities of Indian society. Though caste is a reality of Indian society, Congress has never engaged in nor endorsed identity politics. That is detrimental to democracy in a society with a rich diversity of region, religion, caste and ethnicity,” Anand said in the letter.


Anand said that Congress has always believed in inclusive approach, which is non-discriminatory in formulating policies for equity and social justice for the poor and the under-privileged.

“It is pertinent to recall Smt. Indira Gandhi’s clarion call of 1980: “Na Jaat par na paat par, Mohar lagegi Haath par. After the Mandal riots of 1990, Rajiv Gandhi, as a Leader of Opposition, in his historic speech in Lok Sabha on 6th September 1990 said: We have problems if caste is defined to enshrine casteism in our country… We have problems if casteism is going to be made a factor for parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies….. The Congress cannot stand by and watch this nation being divided,” Anand said.

He said that departure from the historic position is a matter of concern for many Congress men and women across the country. “It calls for reflection. In my humble opinion, this will be misconstrued as disrespecting the legacy of Indira ji and Rajiv ji. Also by default, that will be an indictment of successive Congress Governments and their work for empowerment of the disadvantaged sections,” he added.

Here is the full text of Anand Sharma’s letter to Congress President:

Dear Congress President Mallikarjun kharge ju

I am taking the liberty to share my views and concerns on the buildup of political narratives and policy priorities of the political parties during the run-up for the national elections and articulation of policies by the National and Regional parties.

The divisive agendas, issues of gender justice, unemployment, inflation and rising inequality are shared concerns of the Congress, its alliance partners and progressive forces.

National Caste Census, has emerged as an important issue in the electoral debate. This has been endorsed by India Alliance led by Congress. Parties of the alliance, also include those which have pursued caste based politics for long. However, the Congress policy on social justice is based on a mature and informed understanding of the complexities of Indian society.

Leaders of the National movement, were firmly committed to emancipate those who had historically suffered denial and discrimination. Affirmative action, as enshrined in the Constitution provides for reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. That reflects the collective wisdom of the framers of Indian Constitution. Decades later, OBCs were included as a special category and accordingly given benefit of reservations. That has found acceptance across the country now for 34 years.

Though caste is a reality of Indian society, Congress has never engaged in nor endorsed identity politics. That is detrimental to democracy in a society with a rich diversity of region, religion, caste and ethnicity.

As a representative National Party, Congress has believed in inclusive approach, which is non-discriminatory in formulating policies for equity and social justice for the poor and the under-privileged. It is pertinent to recall Smt. Indira Gandhi’s clarion call of 1980: “Na Jaat par na paat par, Mohar lagegi Haath par” unquote.

After the Mandal riots of 1990, Sh. Rajiv Gandhi, as a Leader of Opposition, in his historic speech in Lok Sabha on 6th September 1990 said: “We have problems if caste is defined to enshrine casteism in our country…..

We have problems if casteism is going to be made a factor for parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies….. The Congress cannot stand by and watch this nation being divided……” unquote.

Departure from the historic position is a matter of concern for many Congress men and women across the country. It calls for reflection. In my humble opinion, this will be misconstrued as disrespecting the legacy of Indira ji and Rajiv ji. Also by default, that will be an indictment of successive Congress Governments and their work for empowerment of the disadvantaged sections. It also provides a handle to detractors and political opponents of the congress.

Congress as a mass movement, has always encouraged internal discussion and debate on issues of national importance and formulation of policies on social issues. The participation of District and Pradesh Congress Committees in consultative process would have helped in building a broad internal consensus to endorse the policy as is required in a democracy.

Congress has been sensitive to the cause of the poor and under-privileged, and remains committed to their social and economic empowerment. The UPA Government brought a transformation with MNREGA and right to food security thereby creating a National Social Security. Bringing out 140 million people out of poverty net, was a proud achievement.

Social and economic backwardness has always been the sole guiding criteria for affirmative action.

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