Govt may give in to Oppn demand for card-census

Govt may give in to Oppn demand for card-census

The supporters of the caste -census, particularly those belonging to the OBC (Other Backward Castes), see the government’s move to have biometric census of caste as a tactic to derail the caste-based census.

In biometric-census, an exercise to  be undertaken much later,  a person will have to go to the registration office to submit his or her caste certificate.

The Opposition demand is that caste census could be done simultaneously along with the ongoing census. The census has completed it’s first state and is running into it’s second stage.

The issue has come to the centre-stage also on account of the elections in Bihar where OBC factor is politically  sensitive with several top OBC leaders in the fray. The elections in Bihar are due in October-November.   

The ruling Congress at the Centre and the main opposition BJP are divided on the issue of the caste-based census though officially both have reluctantly given a green signal to the caste-based counting.

Only a day earlier, a Group of Ministers (GoM) panel, headed by  Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, had decided to recommend to the Cabinet for the inclusion of caste in the census exercise at the biometric stage.

However, the Lok Sabha was adjourned till noon on Thursday following uproar over the decision of the  GoM.

NDA convenor Sharad Yadav, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, BSP member Dara Singh Chauhan and RJD leader Lalu Prasad claimed that the inclusion of caste in census at the biometric stage amounted to befooling the people.

“This exercise cannot be completed in 100 years. The decision to hand out voter identity cards was taken 15 years ago and has not been implemented completely,” Sharad Yadav said.

Mukherjee was of the view that the mechanism for taking caste census has yet not been decided. “How and when this should be done is under consideration. The decision on the mechanism will have to be taken formally,” Mukherjee told the house.

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