Monday March 18, 2019
Home Politics Congress want...

Congress wants to know your caste before you join the Grand Old Party

0
//

Congress-rally

By NewsGram Staff Writer

The online enrollment form for joining the Congress party, requires not just filling the category but also the specific caste names of applicants.

This comes as a change in tactic by the Congress, from its earlier stand on the issue of caste census when it was in power at the Centre.

The form which is available online at www.inc.in, asks for “additional profile information” including photograph, date of birth, gender, category and caste, while in category, an applicant has to choose from general, most backward caste, minority, other backward caste, Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and NT/VJNT (nomadic tribe or Vimukta Jati and Nomadic Tribes).

Though spelling out the caste is not mandatory in the online form for Congress membership, it has raised the public’s eyebrows.

National Dalit Movement for Justice general secretary Ramesh Nathan said, “Legally speaking, asking the caste of a person is not a violation of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.

“But the larger question here is of propriety. Why in this day and age does anyone need to know your caste? Why does a political organisation need your caste for the membership? If an applicant is applying for job or a seat under the quota, then also the government asks only for the category not the caste” , he said.

The move is being viewed as a classic case of caste vote-bank politics by some activists.

Asha Kowtal, general secretary, All India Mahila Adhikar Manch says, “It is a larger game plan of using caste as a political currency.

While the form on the site asks for the caste, the hard copy obtained from the party office only asks for the category.

The main Congress rival, BJP, however, does not require the disclosure of caste or pointing the category, for applicants to become its members.

Next Story

Brazil’s President Bolsonaro Faces First Defeat in Congress

The defeat on the floor of the house came one day after Bolsonaro fired a senior minister amid a scandal.

0
Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro arrives at the inauguration ceremony of the new president of the Parliamentary Front of Agriculture (FPA), at the Clube Naval, in Brasilia, Jan. 19, 2019. VOA

Brazil’s lower chamber handed right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro his first defeat in Congress on Tuesday, the day before his government presents its most important legislative proposal to rein in a gaping budget deficit and spur growth.

The house voted overwhelmingly to suspend an executive order by the Bolsonaro government that altered Brazil’s freedom of information law to broaden the number of officials allowed to designate data and documents as secret or ultra-secret.

Lawmakers voted 367 to 57 to fast-track a bill overturning the secrecy measure and government whips were unable to muster votes to avoid defeat.

The bill must still be voted on by the Senate, but the reversal showed that Bolsonaro, who took office on Jan. 1, has not yet been able to organize a coalition in Congress to back his legislative agenda.

On Wednesday, Bolsonaro will send to Congress his plan to overhaul Brazil’s generous and costly pension system that eats up more than half of federal spending and is the main factor behind an unsustainable budget deficit.

Brazil, Bolsonaro
FILE – Gustavo Bebianno in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sept. 29, 2018. VOA

Approval of pension reform is vital for the recovery of investor confidence in Latin America’s largest economy.

The defeat on the floor of the house came one day after Bolsonaro fired a senior minister amid a scandal involving campaign financing for some of his party’s congressional candidates in the October elections.

ALSO READ: Trump Chooses Jeffery Rosen as Deputy Attorney General, Says White House

The ousted minister, Gustavo Bebianno, was instrumental in getting Bolsonaro elected but had a run-in with one of the president’s sons, triggering the weeks-old government’s first cabinet crisis.

In a note to clients, analysts at Eurasia Group said the scandal indicated the administration’s political team was in disarray, but they still expected the pension reform to get passed, albeit in a less ambitious version. (VOA)