Opposition parties resolve to conduct caste census

In joint resolution, parties pledge to safeguard the “idea of India” enshrined in the Constitution and present the nation with an alternative political, social and economic agenda

July 18, 2023 05:46 pm | Updated September 27, 2023 12:37 pm IST - Bengaluru

Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, Tamil Nadu CM M.K. Stalin, and other Opposition leaders attend the second day of the joint Opposition meeting in Bengaluru on July 18, 2023.

Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, Tamil Nadu CM M.K. Stalin, and other Opposition leaders attend the second day of the joint Opposition meeting in Bengaluru on July 18, 2023. | Photo Credit: Murali Kumar K

INDIA, the new Opposition alliance, have resolved to conduct a caste census, asserting that they have come together to defeat the hatred and violence being manufactured against minorities as well as rising crimes against women, Dalits, tribals and Kashmiri Pandits.

In a joint resolution adopted unanimously by 26 Opposition parties at their second summit on Tuesday, the coalition expressed its steadfast resolve to safeguard the idea of India as enshrined in the Constitution.

INDIA Alliance

“We have come together to defeat the hatred and violence being manufactured against minorities; stop the rising crimes against women, Dalits, Adivasis and Kashmiri Pandits; demand a fair hearing for all socially, educationally and economically backward communities; and, as a first step, implement the Caste Census,” the resolution said.

Alternative agenda

“We pledge to present to the nation an alternative political, social and economic agenda. We promise to transform both the substance and style of governance that will be more consultative, democratic and participative,” it added.

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“The character of our republic is being severely assaulted in a systematic manner by the BJP. We are at a most crucial juncture in our nation’s history. The foundational pillars of the Indian Constitution - secular democracy, economic sovereignty, social justice and federalism - are being methodically and menacingly undermined,” the coalition alleged.

‘Campaign of hate’

The Opposition parties resolved to fight what they claimed was the systemic conspiracy by the BJP to “target, persecute and suppress our fellow Indians.”

“Their poisonous campaign of hate has led to vicious violence against all those opposed to the ruling party and its divisive ideology. These attacks are not only violating constitutional rights and freedoms but also eroding the basic values upon which the Republic of India is founded - Liberty, Equality and Fraternity and Justice - Political, Economic and Social,” the resolution said.

Tragedy in Manipur

Leaders also expressed concern over the “humanitarian tragedy that has destroyed Manipur”.

“The silence of the Prime Minister is shocking and unprecedented. There is an urgent need to bring Manipur back on the path of peace and reconciliation,” the resolution said.

Leaders have unanimously “determined to combat and confront the continuing assault on the Constitution and on constitutional rights of democratically elected state governments. There is a deliberate attempt to weaken the federal structure of our polity. The role of Governors & LGs in non-BJP ruled states has exceeded all constitutional norms.”

Economic crisis

They resolved to confront the grave economic crisis of ever-rising prices of essential commodities and record unemployment. “We oppose the reckless sale of the nation’s wealth to favored friends. We must build a fair economy with a strong and strategic public sector as well as a competitive and flourishing private sector, in which the spirit of enterprise is fostered and given every opportunity to expand. The welfare of Kisan and Khet Mazdur should always be the highest priority,” it said.

Leaders of the Congress, All India Trinamool Congress, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Nationalist Congress Party, Janata Dal (United), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Aam Aadmi Party, Jarkhand Mukti Morcha, Shiv Sena (UBT), Rashtriya Janata Dal, Samajwadi Party, J&K National Conference, J&K Peoples Democratic Party, CPI (ML), Rashtriya Lok Dal, Indian Union Muslim League, Kerala Congress (M), Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, All India Forward Bloc, and other smaller parties adopted the resolution.

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