‘Disrespecting Indira, Rajiv Gandhi’s legacy’: Cong veteran Anand Sharma calls out Rahul’s caste census stand

New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) Congress veteran Anand Sharma, a member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), has raised strong objections to the party’s Lok Sabha election campaign centered around the caste-based census, calling it a “departure from the historic position and also amounting to disrespecting the legacy of former Congress PMs Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi”.

Recalling the inclusive and all-encompassing approach of the Congress party, Anand Sharma cited popular slogans by Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi and said that the party’s current stand will come as an indictment of previous Congress governments. Also, it will give political opponents of Congress a handle to throw muck at it.

Na Jaat Par na paat par, Mohar lagegi haath par,” Sharma quoted Indira Gandhi’s clarion call of 1980.

He further quoted Rajiv Gandhi’s historic call as the Opposition leader in the Lok Sabha in 1990, where the former PM 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 can not stand by and watch this nation being divided.”

The CWC leader also hinted at a lack of coordination in the party, and said, “The participation of District and Pradesh Congress Committees in consultative process would have helped in building a broad internal consensus.”

Sharma’s objection to the Congress stand on caste census has caught the party off guard as the latter has been striving to make it a rallying point ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Rahul Gandhi’s poll pitch for ‘jitni abadi, utna haq’ has already been termed ‘backward and regressive’ by political pundits and now with discordant voices within the party, its campaign may flounder and hit a rough patch.

Anand Sharma is one of the G-23 leaders who wrote a scathing letter to the then Congress President Sonia Gandhi in 2021 and called for sweeping changes in the party’s structure and functioning.



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