Govt to okay caste census, says Pranab

Speaking in the Lok Sabha, the finance minister said the issue would be taken up in the next cabinet meeting for an official approval. “The government has more or less decided in favour of it,” Mukherjee said in the Lok Sabha about the inclusion of caste in the population count.

Mukherjee said all political parties were supportive of the idea and “there is no room for any apprehensions over the issue.”

Members from the BJP, JD(U), BSP and SP question the government on the way it is conducting the caste census. JD(U) President  Sharad Yadav raised the issue on the last day of the monsoon session saying  there was no outcome from the government’s effort to collect the views of the political parties. SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav also quizzed the government on “the delay in caste census”.

In response, Mukherjee  said the Group of Ministers formed earlier to examine the caste census has decided in favour of it during the house enumeration exercise.

“It will be limited to collection of information on caste, which would simultaneously be carried out with biometric exercise,” he said.

Mukherjee said the ministerial panel was “not empowered” to take the decision on its own but its conclusions will be endorsed by the cabinet at its next meeting.

The three Yadavs — Sharad, Mulayam and Lalu — had earlier asked the government to carry out caste census simultaneously with the regular census.

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