LUCKNOW: Ahead of the crucial State Assembly election next year, the Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday approved a major proposal to include 17 most backward sub-castes of OBCs in the Scheduled Caste (SC) list.
The proposal, cleared by the UP cabinet, has been sent to the Centre for its assent. Being seen as a big pre-poll sop for the MBCs in the upcoming battle of ballots in the State, the proposal included the subcastes of Kewat, Kashyap, Nishad, Bind, Bhar, Godia, Prajapati, Kahar, Batham, Gaur, Rajbhar, Tura, Mallah, Majhi, Machhua, Dheemar and Kumhar in the SC list.
In 2013, the Akhilesh government had cleared a similar proposal but the then Congress-led Union government had refused to endorse it.
However, the proposal drew widespread criticism from political parties. Condemning the UP government’s move as merely a political stunt, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said: “This is a drama to woo the innocent backward castes in the name of reservation,” in a statement released here.
Calling it a move against the law as it was only the Centre’s prerogative to add castes to the SC category, Mayawati accused the State government of neglecting the backward castes during the past four-and-a-half years.
The BSP chief claimed that it was her government which had sent a proposal to this effect asking the Centre to include those castes in the SC category only if the quota for scheduled castes was increased. The BJP also found it to be just a case of political posturing.
In a related development, the UP cabinet also gave the go-ahead to 70 other proposals of different departments in a meeting presided by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Earlier, Akhilesh the unveiled model zone of the under-construction Varuna Riverfront development project and laid the foundation stone of the Purvanchal Expressway.
Assembly passes vote on account The UP Assembly adjourned sine die on Thursday after passing the second supplementary budget of Rs 1,683 crore and Vote on Account of Rs 1,34,845 crore tabled by the chief minister for the first five months of the financial year 2017-18 by voice vote.