HYDERABAD: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday supported the demand of caste census of Backward Classes and favoured the state Assembly passing a resolution on the demand and sending it to the Centre, which has maintained that it is an "administratively difficult and cumbersome exercise."
Rao, who was replying to a short discussion in the Assembly on the state government's 'Dalit Bandhu' scheme, spoke about the demand for caste census of Backward Classes.
Referring to BJP member M Raghunandan Rao's speech earlier, he asked why the Centre was refusing the caste census demand and had also filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court recently that it cannot carry out such an exercise.
The Centre on September 23 told the Supreme Court that conducting caste census of Backward Classes is "administratively difficult and cumbersome" and called exclusion of such information from the purview of the census a 'conscious policy decision.'
In its affidavit in the apex court, the government said that caste enumeration in Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 was 'fraught" with mistakes and inaccuracies.
"Definitely, BC caste census should be done. Why should it not happen? We will also pass a resolution in the assembly and send it. If it is justified, it should happen. Why should the Government of India object? Where is the reason?," the CM said.
Observing that the percentage of population of Dalits has increased, he said the percentage of reservations for them should also be enhanced.
"By calculating Dalit population to be 15 per cent, 15 per cent reservation is being given at the national level and state level. That is not the fact. The percentage has increased a lot," he said.
Citing statistics, he said 17.53 per cent of Telangana's population consists of Dalit families.
The number of families must have gone up since the 'Intensive Household Survey' was conducted in the state about six-seven years ago, he said.
"So, the percentage of Dalit reservations should be increased. That need is there. The union government should recognize this. Yes. the Centre should do if (it) wants to follow the spirit of Ambedkar ji," he said.
The 'Dalit Bandhu' scheme, aimed at their welfare, is currently being implemented on a pilot basis in Telangana.
Under the scheme, each beneficiary will get Rs 10 lakh with which he can start a business or trade of his choice and emerge out of poverty.
The scheme would be scaled up and the government would allocate Rs 20,000 crore in the next budget for the scheme (benefiting two lakh families in the state), the CM said.
Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, AIMIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi, BJP's M Raghunandan Rao and TRS member Gadari Kishore Kumar also spoke.