Union minister Athawale advocates caste census

Athawale further said if future decisions include extending reservation benefits to every caste based on their population share, his party would not oppose it.
Ramdas Athawale, Chief of the Republican Party of India (Athawale) from Maharashtra, takes oath as MoS.
Ramdas Athawale, Chief of the Republican Party of India (Athawale) from Maharashtra, takes oath as MoS.(File Photo | YouTube / DD India)

INDORE: Union minister Ramdas Athawale has said his Republican Party of India (A) supports conducting a caste census in the country and believes some way should be found for it.

Speaking to reporters in Madhya Pradesh's Indore city on Sunday, Athawale also said there should be no malpractice in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and the Education Ministry was taking all possible steps to stop malpractices in the exam in future.

He said since Article 17 of the Constitution has a provision to abolish casteism, there has been a hindrance before governments on how to get a caste-based census conducted.

"My party demands that some way should be found because once the caste-based census is done, we will know the percentage of every caste in the population," the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment said.

Ramdas Athawale, Chief of the Republican Party of India (Athawale) from Maharashtra, takes oath as MoS.
‘JD(U) wants caste census, but without friction with Centre’

Athawale further said if future decisions include extending reservation benefits to every caste based on their population share, his party would not oppose it, acknowledging the existence of poverty across all castes.

Targeting Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Athawale said, "I want to ask Gandhi that when the Congress was in power at the Centre, why was the caste census not conducted?" The RPI(A) leader claimed the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will win 170 to 180 seats out of 288 in the Maharashtra assembly elections, due in October this year.

"Not the issue of Constitution but the issue of development will work in the Maharashtra elections. We will rectify the mistakes committed (in the Lok Sabha elections) and enter the electoral fray," he added.

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