Telangana: Is PM’s vow for Madiga sub-quota just a ‘jumla’, asks Congress

Ramesh claimed that the prime minister has recently started paying lip service to the cause of the Madiga community and their long-pending demand for a sub-quota.

New Delhi: On a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaigned in Telangana, the Congress on Wednesday asked him to clear his stand on the caste census after he promised a sub-quota for the Madiga caste and wondered if that would be another of his “jumlas” (rhetoric).

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh also asked where the promised rail coach factory at Kazipet was and why the prime minister failed to deliver the Bayyaram steel plant.

“Today’s questions for the PM as he heads to Telangana: Where is the rail coach factory at Kazipet? Why did the PM fail to deliver the Bayyaram Steel Plant and ITIR? In the absence of a Census or a Caste Census, is the PM’s promise for a Madiga sub-quota just a jumla?,” he asked in a post on X.

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Ramesh claimed that the prime minister has recently started paying lip service to the cause of the Madiga community and their long-pending demand for a sub-quota.

“However, the best he can promise is a ‘panel’ to look into the demand, which appears to have not meaningfully materialised in the five months since he first committed to it. At the same time, the Prime Minister has refused to endorse a socioeconomic caste census, which would actually yield facts about the socioeconomic standing of the Madiga community,” he said.

The Congress leader also said in fact, the prime minister has refused to hold even the usual decadal census that was due in 2021 and which would have yielded information on the population of the Scheduled Castes in Telangana.

The Congress Nyay Patra has committed to such a census nationally, and the Congress government in Telangana has already begun preparations to conduct a state-level census, he claimed.

Congress questions PM on caste census

“Can the Prime Minister clarify his stance on the proposal for a caste census? How does he plan to enable sub-quotas for the Madiga community in its absence,” Ramesh asked, using the hashtag ‘ChuppiTodoPradhanMantriji’.

Ramesh also said after repeated flip-flops in the last 10 years, the BJP has failed to establish a rail coach factory at Kazipet. The BJP had committed to establishing this factory in their 2014 Lok Sabha election manifesto as well as their 2014 Telangana assembly election manifesto, he said.

The central government then released Rs 40 crore for the project and the Telangana government even allocated 60 acres of land for the same, Ramesh said, adding that two years later, in 2016, the Minister of State for Railways, Manoj Singh, abruptly declared that there was no scope for setting up a coach factory anywhere in the country.

Despite this, a coach factory was set up in Maharashtra a few years later, just before the 2019 assembly elections, he claimed, adding that the prime minister then announced another Rs 20,000 crore electric locomotive plant in Gujarat in 2022.

On Kazipet coach factory, ITIR

In December 2022, he said, the Centre clarified again that no plant would be built in Kazipet but later that month, announced that a coach factory would be set up in Assam.

“Before the Telangana assembly elections last year, the Centre reversed its decision yet again, and the PM laid the foundation stone of a railway wagon overhauling centre in Kazipet. Almost a year later, this plan too has failed to materialise.

“Why have the PM and the BJP repeatedly deceived the people of Telangana? Will a railway plant ever be built in Kazipet,” the Congress leader asked.

Plans for the Bayyaram Steel Plant and the Hyderabad Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR) have fallen by the wayside during the BJP’s tenure, he said, adding that the UPA government had promised both of these projects under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act of 2014.

Both projects would have attracted lakhs of crores of investment to Telangana and created thousands of opportunities for the state’s youth, Ramesh said.

He said the ITIR alone was expected to attract Rs 2.19 lakh crore of investments and create direct employment for 15 lakh people. Yet, the BJP did not hesitate to sweep these projects under the rug. CM Revanth Reddy has also pointed out that at the same time as these projects were being scrapped, massive projects like the bullet train and Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) were given to Gujarat, he added.

“Why has the Modi Sarkar so callously neglected development projects in Telangana? Is there no end to the PM’s step-motherly treatment of opposition-ruled states,” Ramesh asked.

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