The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday has stayed the Uttar Pradesh government’s order to include 17 sub-castes in the Scheduled Caste category. In December, the proposal for the inclusion of the sub-castes (Kahar, Kashyap, Kewat, Nishad, Bind, Bhar, Prajapati, Rajbhar, Batham, Gaur, Tura, Majhi, Mallah, Kumhar, Dheemar and Machua) was cleared by a Cabinet meeting which was presided over by UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Bahujan Samajwadi Party supremo Mayawati had them termed the SC government’s act as a “mere drama.”
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In 2012 during the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections, Samajwadi Party in its election manifesto had promised to bring back the 17 sub-castes into the SC list. After Akhilesh Yadav became the Chief Minister, the proposal was turned down by the Central Government. In December 2016, the SP government decided to “clarify” that these castes were already present in the Schedule Caste list, rather than “specifying” them, but they would be freshly included in the next SC list.
As of now 66 castes are already registered as Schedule Castes in UP.