The CWC expresses its deepest condolences to the people of Sikkim and of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong hills on the unprecedented floods and the tragic loss of many lives, including personnel of the Indian armed forces. The CWC emphasizes the importance of cumulative and credible environmental impact assessments in ecologically vulnerable Himalayan regions to avoid the repeat of such disasters in the face of climate change. The CWC calls on the Union government to provide all necessary assistance to Sikkim and the hill regions in the north of West Bengal. The CWC also reiterates its appeal to set aside partisan politics and declare last month’s tragedy in Himachal Pradesh as a national disaster.
The CWC welcomes the release of the caste survey/headcount conducted by the state government of Bihar. The disparity between representation and share in population revealed by the final figures of the survey highlights the urgent need to take effective steps to ensure social justice. The CWC also welcomes the objective of the Justice Rohini Commission of sub-categorization within OBCs, but underlines that it will remain incomplete without detailed data on the socio-economic position of various communities, which can be obtained either from the still unreleased data from the 2011 Socio Economic and Caste Census or a fresh Caste Census.
These developments show the critical importance of a nationwide Caste Census which will reveal an accurate picture of the socio-economic position of communities across the country and provide a sound, data-driven basis for policies to strengthen the foundations of social justice and ensure inclusive development. The Modi government has cheated the OBC communities and other deprived sections of the country by not releasing the data of the 2011 Socio Economic and Caste Census and not carrying out a fresh Caste Census; it has also failed in its Constitutional duty by inordinately postponing the decadal Census that ought to have been conducted in 2021 or soon thereafter. It is a matter of shame that India remains the only country in the G20 that has failed to carry out the Census. Moreover, the demand for the Caste Census was repeatedly expressed state-after-state by multiple delegations during the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, and finds voice in the Raipur declaration at the 85th Congress Plenary Session.
Therefore, the Indian National Congress promises that a government led by it will: Conduct a nationwide Caste Census as part of the normal decadal Census which was due in 2021.
Implement the 33% reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies at the earliest, ensuring adequate representation for women belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and including OBCs as well. The unnecessary obstacles of Census and delimitation imposed by the Modi government will be removed.
Remove the cap of 50% through legislation for the reservation of OBCs, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, in line with the commensurate share of population.
The CWC condemns the Modi government’s raids on dozens of journalists and writers, and the invocation of anti-terror laws. The conspiracy theories floated by the government only exposes its own monumental hypocrisy in accepting donations from Chinese companies to PM CARES Fund and investments from China’s government-owned companies, its inability to control the zooming imports from China, and worst of all the Prime Minister’s clean chit to China on June 19, 2020, when he denied all Chinese transgressions at our border.
The Modi government has escalated the misuse of the law and the unleashing of central agencies against those who ask questions and oppose the government’s actions, including the leaders of the Opposition parties across the country. Such coercive and illegal action cripples the free press, hinders the fundamental rights of citizens, journalists and politicians to hold the government accountable, and lowers India’s standing in the world as a ‘Democracy’. The Prime Minister and the BJP have degraded the political discourse to such a level that official posters are being made to incite and provoke violence against former Congress President, Shri. Rahul Gandhi, similar to the one commissioned by Nathuram Godse against Mahatma Gandhi and senior Congress leaders of the freedom movement. The CWC observes that the frequency of these attacks by the Modi government will only increase in the run-up to the five state elections and the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, but the Indian people will no longer be intimidated by these tactics.
The CWC expresses its deep anguish on the collapse of constitutional government and the continuing humanitarian tragedy in Manipur. Even after more than five months, the Prime Minister has totally abandoned the people of Manipur and abdicated his constitutional responsibilities. Violent incidents have increased with numerous instances of vigilantism and threats by armed mobs. The Union government has completely failed in its duty to maintain public order and bridge the divisions between the communities. The constitutional machinery in Manipur has broken down. The CWC reiterates its previous demand for the immediate removal of the Chief Minister and imposition of President’s Rule as the first step in resolving the unprecedented crisis in Manipur.
The CWC notes with concern the recent RBI data which shows that net financial assets of Indian households in 2022-23 had fallen to 5.1 per cent which is a nearly five-decade low. Similarly, real income growth is at its lowest in four decades. Hit by stagnant wages, high inflation and widespread unemployment, millions of Indian families are forced into borrowing money for their consumption needs. The CWC believes that the dismal situation is the result of the Modi government’s anti-people, pro-crony economic policies which have resulted in the concentration of wealth and power in a few hands in every sector of the economy. The CWC reiterates the resolution of the Indian National Congress at the Raipur AICC session that the need of the hour is a comprehensive reset of economic policy which directly tackles the twin problems of growing unemployment and widening inequalities; which will be the legacy of the Modi government.
The state governments led by the Indian National Congress and its allied parties have been taking a number of measures to provide relief to the people. However, the threat to our democracy and the social, political and economic crises which are mounting every passing day require a durable solution. The only solution that is within the power of the people is to remove the anti-people BJP governments from power, both at the state and the Centre. To achieve this objective, the CWC resolves to call upon all its members and supporters to fight the upcoming elections to state legislative assemblies and to the Lok Sabha with a unity of purpose, dedication and determination.
Finally, the CWC expresses its dismay and anguish on the war that has broken out in the Middle East where over a thousand people have been killed in the last two days. The CWC reiterates its long-standing support for the rights of the Palestinian people to land, self-government and to live with dignity and respect. The CWC calls for an immediate cease-fire and for negotiations to begin on all outstanding issues including the imperative issues that have given rise to the present conflict.