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Chorus grows for caste based census

Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said that the reservation cap should be removed which is now 50 percent

Wednesday August 11, 2021 11:39 PM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Caste Based Census

New Delhi: Participating in the discussion on a Constitution Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, the opposition demanded a caste based census and removal of the cap of 50 percent on reservations as the House unanimously passed the OBC Bill.

Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said that the reservation cap should be removed which is now 50 percent. If it is not removed then the purpose of the bill will be defeated as the states should get the power to increase the reservation.

While Abhishek Manu Singhvi and RJD Manoj Kumar Jha demanded a caste census in the country to ascertain the number of OBCs, the opposition got a harsh riposte from the government with Sushil Modi of the BJP claiming that the whole OBC reservation came into existence due to the efforts of the BJP.

Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav said the Uttar Pradesh government is planning to remove Yadavs, Kurmis and Gujjars from the Other Backward Classes (OBC) list.

The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty Seventh Amendment) Bill 2021.

This Bill was passed by a two-third majority of the Members present in the House.

It aims to restore the power that allowed states and Union Territories (UTs) to make their own OBC lists. It was demanded by a number of regional parties and even the ruling party's own OBC leaders.

BJD MPs too demand caste based census

A day after passing of a Constitution amendment bill in Lok Sabha to restore the power of States to make their own OBC lists, BJD MPs demanded conduct of caste-based Census for identifying and enumerating the SEBC/OBCs.

A delegation of BJD MPs from both the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday met Union Home Minister Amit Shah at his Parliament chamber and submitted a memorandum in this regard.

The MPs in their memorandum said due to non-availability of reliable and authentic data about the exact numbers of the SEBC and OBC it has become an impediment for taking up focused planning for the welfare of these communities.

"It is high time that the Central government frames a legislation in this regard for benefits, welfare and all round upliftment of the SEBC/OBC categories of population after collection of scientific database through General Census 2021 for establishment of compelling reasons, like, backwardness, inadequate representation and overall administrative efficiency," they said.

The MPs requested Shah to consider the proposal for insertion of appropriate columns in the Census format 2021 to get a clear picture regarding socio economic and educational status of SEBC, OBC and other castes for formulation of appropriate policy for their benefits.

They have also demanded to enact a central legislation for increasing the reservation beyond the 50 per cent ceiling for empowerment of States.

In January 2020, the Odisha Cabinet had resolved for conducting socio-economic caste enumeration and the State had requested the Cabinet Secretary for conducting census for SEBC and OBC category in General Census 2021.

However, the Registrar General and Census Commissioner India had rejected the proposal. Following this, the Odisha Assembly had passed a resolution unanimously in this issue and the State has formed a Commission to conduct a survey to understand the socio-economic condition of people belonging to this category and take steps for their welfare.

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