The Opposition's INDI alliance is showing more evident rifts, as Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav has criticised the Congress for its inaction on caste census when it was in power.
Yadav's criticism underscores the growing divide between his party and Congress, both key players in the INDI Alliance formed to challenge the BJP in the upcoming national elections.
Speaking to ANI in Satna, Madhya Pradesh, Yadav blamed the past governments' flawed policies for not conducting a caste census.
He also mocked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's recent analogy, comparing the need for a caste census to an "X-ray" that reveals the composition of India's various communities.
Yadav sarcastically referred to Rahul's call for a census as a "miracle," arguing that while "X-rays" might have been sufficient previously, now more advanced "MRI and CT scans" are needed to diagnose the deepening societal divisions.
He implied that had this issue been addressed earlier, such societal disparities might not be as pronounced.
"The biggest miracle is the Congress is also talking about caste census. Those who are talking about X-rays are the same people who stopped the caste census after Independence," he quipped, NDTV reported.
Yadav further criticized Congress for not conducting a caste census post-Independence.
"When Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav), Sharad Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav, and parties from South India raised the demand in Lok Sabha, the Congress refused to do it," he said.
Yadav also questioned Congress's current interest in conducting a caste census, suggesting it stems from a realisation that their traditional voter base has dwindled.
He emphasised that backward classes, Dalits, and Adivasis are aware of Congress's past betrayals after Independence.
Yadav has been increasingly critical of Congress in the recent days, even alleging that they're reluctant to form an alliance with his party following disagreements over seat allocations for the upcoming 17 November Madhya Pradesh elections.
Earlier last week, he accused Congress of failing to implement the Mandal Commission's recommendations and opposing the caste census.
At a Madhya Pradesh rally, he claimed that both Congress and BJP have neglected the poor and farmers during their respective terms in the state.
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