Stay on inclusion of 17 OBCs in SC list

Stay on inclusion of 17 OBCs in SC list

In a setback to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav, the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday stayed inclusion of 17 sub-castes from the Other Backward Castes (OBC) category into the Scheduled Castes (SC) category.

 The state Cabinet had last month given its approval to the proposal which was part of the SP’s election manifesto for the 2012 Assembly polls. The Opposition parties had alleged that the decision was aimed at luring these sub-castes towards the SP camp ahead the 2017 polls.

 A division bench comprising Chief Justice D B Bhosale and Justice Yashwant Verma passed the order on a petition challenging the state government’s move on the ground that only the Centre could take such a decision.

 The state government had also directed for providing all benefits available to the SCs to these 17 sub-castes.

 The 17 sub-castes include Nishad (boatmen) and Machua (fishermen), and constitute around 10 to 12% of the total electorate.

 In 2005, the then SP government had also sent a similar proposal to the Centre for including these 17 sub-castes into the SC category but it was not cleared. The SP leaders had then said there was very little possibility of the Centre accepting the proposal this time.

 BSP supremo Mayawati hailed the court decision. She said the move was politically motivated and was aimed at garnering support of these communities in the upcoming Assembly elections.

 Leader of the Nishad community, Lautam Ram Nishad, also said that the move was nothing but an “election stunt” pulled by the SP to gain support of these castes. 

“The state government knows that it does not have the authority to shift the sub-castes into the SC category”, he said.
 DH News Service

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