Union Minister Athawale push for census of all castes, not just OBCs

The assertion comes at a time when the BJP’s ally in Bihar, the JD(U), is ready to conduct a caste-based census in the state.

Published: 05th July 2022 03:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th July 2022 08:07 AM   |  A+A-

Union Minister Ramdas Athawale

Union Minister Ramdas Athawale (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale backs the idea of a nationwide census of all castes and not just of Other Backward Classes.

In an exclusive interview to this newspaper, Athawale said: “I have always supported caste census. My party’s position is that not only OBCs, but all castes should also be counted. This will provide clear data of the caste-based marginalization and deprivation.”

He is the president of the Republican Party of India, a constituent of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.

The assertion comes at a time when the BJP’s ally in Bihar, the JD(U), is ready to conduct a caste-based census in the state.

“Now that many parties are demanding it, the Central government should consider it,” he said.

It also comes in the face of the Union government maintaining in an affidavit to the Supreme Court that a caste-based survey is not feasible. 

Athawale also allayed fears of a repeat of Mandal politics if a caste-based census is carried out.

“Now that the NDA government provided 10% reservation for EWS category, we won’t see any more protests,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Athawale also said that the Centre will look into the demands of various tribal communities to recognise Sarna as a separate religion and include it in the religion column of the census.

The Jharkhand government has sent a proposal to the Centre in this regard. 

He said that the Rohini Commission, constituted in 2017 to look into the sub-categorisation of OBCs, is still working on the report.

“The government will take a decision once the report is out.” 

India Matters


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