"Governments Run Countries, Not Secretaries": Amit Shah vs Rahul Gandhi

Amit Shah said census and delimitation will be done soon after the 2024 elections (File)

New Delhi:

Countering Congress MP Rahul Gandhi's claim that of the 90 secretaries in the government of India, only three belong to the Other Backward Classes (OBC) community, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said that it is the government that runs the country, not the secretaries.

"One of my colleagues (Rahul Gandhi) was saying that of the people who run the country, only three are from the OBC category. Now who will make him understand that it is the government that runs the country, not the secretaries," Amit Shah said in the Lok Sabha.

In a sharp attack on Rahul Gandhi and the Opposition parties, Amit Shah said that those claiming to speak for OBCs should know that it is the BJP who gave an OBC prime minister.

"Our Constitution says that the policy of the country will be decided only by the cabinet and the Parliament. You (Rahul Gandhi) are not here to listen, but I want to tell you that 29 per cent of MPs in our party belong to the OBC community. If you want to do a comparison, just come to us. And in our union cabinet, there are 29 ministers, who belong to the community. Out of 1358 MLAs, there are 365 MLAs in our party who belong to the OBC category... You speak about the OBCs, but it was the BJP who gave this country a PM from the OBC community," Amit Shah said.

Rahul Gandhi, who spoke in the Lower House just before Mr Shah claimed that there are only three secretaries in the government of India from the OBC community.

"I was shocked to find out that out of 90 secretaries in the government of India, only three are OBCs. These secretaries only control five per cent of the budget. If the country's budget is Rs 44 lakh crore then Rs 2.4 lakh crore controls it," Rahul Gandhi said.

Speaking about the concerns from the Opposition about OBC representation, delimitation, and the delay in implementation of the Bill, Amit Shah said the bill will be implemented soon after the census and delimitation after the elections.

"Census and delimitation exercises will be conducted soon after the elections, and women will have a greater voice in the Parliament," he added.

Further, questioning the intent of the previous government for not passing the Bill, Amit Shah said, "This is the fifth attempt to bring the women's quota bill. From Devegowda ji to Manmohan Singh ji, four attempts were made to bring this bill... What was the reason this bill was not passed?" he asked.

Amit Shah also talked about the women-centric initiatives the Modi government has introduced ever since it took power.

"Women's security, respect, and equal participation have been the life force of government since PM Modi took the oath of office," he said, enumerating schemes such as free LPG cylinders, Mahila Samman Savings scheme, maternity leave and Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao as initiatives that have empowered women.

"Congress ruled for over five decades in this country, but there were 11 crore families who were deprived of toilets. They gave the 'Gareebi Hatao' slogan but couldn't make any arrangements for the poor. When a house doesn't have a toilet, then the most affected ones are the daughters, sisters, and mothers," he further said.

The Home Minister also said that the Women's Reservation Bill will ensure the participation of women in decision-making, and policy-making in the country.

"We have disappointed women four times before. We have to rise above politics now... Today, I want to urge the Treasury and Opposition that we should unite on this new beginning and with consensus amend the Constitution to give reservation to women," he said, adding that passage of the bill will mark the start of a new era.