Tikamgarh (Madhya Pradesh): The Congress stopped caste census and implementation of the Mandal Commission report in the past and the BJP was taking a similar stand, but both parties know the importance of "PDA" or "picchde (backwards), Dalits and Adivasis", claimed Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday.
Addressing a rally in Jatara Assembly seat in Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh, where Assembly polls will be held on November 17, Yadav said both the Congress and the BJP are now talking about caste census and reservations to woo the PDA segment.
"It was the Congress that stopped the caste census and refused to implement the Mandal Commission report. The Bharatiya Janata Party is taking the same path. Now, Congress and BJP are talking about caste census, reservations. As polls come close, both parties realise the strength of PDA," Yadav claimed.
Yadav said his party was in favour of caste census, 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes, and a scheme for women better than the MP government's Ladli Behna Scheme as the aid would be Rs 3000 per month.
Slamming the Narendra Modi government, Yadav claimed those recruited in the armed forces under the Agniveer scheme will not get martyr status or financial assistance in case they are killed in the line of duty.
Can a government that gives such half-baked provisions to soldiers be called nationalist, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister asked.
He said atrocities against women was the highest in MP, while the situation for Dalits and tribals was also dire.
People do not know the enticement that came into play leading to the collapse of the Kamal Nath government and return of the BJP dispensation under Shivraj Singh Chouhan in March 2020, the SP chief said.
The SP and the Congress are part of the opposition bloc Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) but the two parties are fighting the MP polls separately.
Yadav and Nath had a spat earlier over the lack of an alliance for the MP polls, with the former claiming such behaviour on the part of the Congress could lead to repercussions in UP.