Amethi: Rahul slams govt for not inviting Dalits, even prez, to Ayodhya ceremony

Ahead of the LS elections, speculation are rife of Rahul contesting from Amethi

Rahul Nyay Yatra Congress leader Rahul Gandhi waves at supporters during the ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’, in Amethi | PTI

Rahul Gandhi, who was in Amethi as part of the Nyay Yatra, on Monday said that while almost three fourth of the country was made up of the poor, Dalits and backward castes, they had the least share in the country’s resources.

Gandhi drove home his point by asking the crowd to give him a Rs 100 note and then asked for Rs 6. “The note is the country’s budget, Rs 6 is what you get”, he said. “And this is when I am not even counting the minorities”, he added.

He also said that the BJP government was adept at diverting people’s attention. “They will say look what is happening in Pakistan…look Amitabh Bachchan is dancing, Aishwarya is dancing…and that is what you look at”, said Gandhi in Varanasi on Sunday.

Gandhi once again called for a caste census saying that if an accident happens the first thing to do is to get an x-ray before treatment can be planned. Thus a caste census was prerequisite to the country’s 73% people- who were the poorest and most disadvantaged getting their share. “The census will give you an actual picture of what is happening”, he said.

In Varanasi, he said, he had seen young people drunk and sleeping by the road or dancing. “There is deep depression…they have given up, they know that their degrees are useless….”.

The pran pratishtha of the Ram Mandir was also brought up with Gandhi pointing out that industrialists like Gautam Adani and the Ambani were invited but no poor farmers were seen in the televised ceremony. “Our President is a Dalit and was not allowed to enter the mandir”, he said while (erroneously) reeling off a name of (non) attendees such as Virat Kohli.

Gandhi said that there were 90 people running the country. Among them were just seven IAS officers belonging to the backward castes, Dalits and tribals. “They are not in important ministries but relegated to the background and threatened that their ACRs (Annual Confidential Report) will be messed up", Gandhi said.

With the Lok Sabha elections nearing, speculation loomed over whether Gandhi will re-contest from Amethi, a constituency he lost after three terms in the 2019 polls. While Gandhi gave no indication about the same, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said that Gandhi was, is and would always be part of Amethi.

Kharge said that the government was prejudiced against Amethi and Rae Bareli. “They (the BJP) say that the Congress believes in jhatakna (shake off), bhatkana (mislead) but what has it done”, he said listing projects that had been halted including a proposed food park and a power plant.

“Will you vote for such people? Be strong. All those who have come here, even if you get 1000 votes for the Congress the party will sail through,” Kharge said.

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