BJP flays BJD for 'anti-OBC' jibe of two senior Odisha ministers

The BJP on Tuesday made a scathing attack on the ruling BJD accusing it of steering the State towards the dangerous path of caste politics.

Published: 25th August 2021 09:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2021 09:04 AM   |  A+A-

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Representational image. (File Photo)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR : The BJP on Tuesday made a scathing attack on the ruling BJD accusing it of steering the State towards the dangerous path of caste politics.

Responding to the 'anti-OBC' jibe of two senior ministers, BJP State general secretary Prithiviraj Harichandan said that Odisha unlike other states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh is free from caste politics.

"People of all castes coexist peacefully in the State but the BJD is trying to divide them for its narrow political gains," he said.

Asking the State government to explain what it did for the welfare of other backward class (OBC), which constitutes around 54 per cent of the total population, in the last two decades, the BJP leader said his party has been demanding implementation of 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in government jobs and educational institutions for a long time.

The Centre as well as some other states have already implemented 27 per cent reservation for OBCs. The BJD's demand for caste census is to divert the attention of people from its failure and lack of concern for a vast majority of the State's population. 

Harichandan said that the recent amendment of a constitutional bill gave the power to all states to prepare their own OBC list. The real concern of the BJD government for OBC was exposed when the National Commission for Backward Classes criticised the BJD for not constituting an OBC Commission in the State even after staying in power for two decades.

Since the State has been empowered to prepare its own OBC list, why the clamour for a census by the Centre, he wondered. 

BJP OBC Morcha president Surath Biswal said the BJD has no right to blame his party as it was silent on the matter till Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan raked up the issue. The OBC commission was set up following pressure from the BJP.

Biswal said the BJD is just making political excuses to cover up its own shortcomings ahead of the panchayat elections due next year.

Responding to the allegations, Agriculture and Higher Education Minister Arun Sahoo described the BJP as anti-OBC. He said the saffron party is declining the State government’s demand for caste census and removal of cap on reservation to provide the OBCs their due in the reservation policy. 


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