BJP leaders supporting caste-based census need to voice their opinion before PM Modi: Sharad Pawar

By: |
August 16, 2021 6:24 PM

Pawar also criticised the Centre for the Constitution (127th Amendment) Bill, 2021 passed in Parliament during the recently concluded monsoon session.

Pawar likened the bill to inviting people to a banquet and then tying their hands and asking them to eat.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar today claimed that a section of BJP leaders supports the demand for a caste-based census. He hoped that the number of such members within the party increases in future. Pawar also said that the BJP leaders need to muster the courage to voice their opinion before Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “I am hopeful this will happen in the coming few days,” said Pawar.

Many states including Bihar, Odisha and Maharashtra have been demanding a caste-based census, a demand which resonated with the Congress party as it raised the issue in Parliament.

The NCP chief also criticised the Centre for the Constitution (127th Amendment) Bill, 2021 passed in Parliament during the recently concluded monsoon session. Pawar said he will try to garner public consensus against the amendment and pressurise the Modi government to make changes to it. The NCP chief said that while the Bill has created an impression power has been given to states to make their own OBC list but the claim is misleading as the 50 per cent quota ceiling is still valid.

Pawar said reservation in most of the states is above 60 per cent. “Someone will have to show courage to speak in front of Modi. Deception is the only motive for the constitutional amendment,” he said.

Pawar likened the bill to inviting people to a banquet and then tying their hands and asking them to eat. “This is cheating with the OBC community. There is a need for a caste-based census in the country,” he said.

While opposition had supported the Bill, some members have raised the demand for a caste-based census and removing the 50-per cent reservation cap. The government, however, has maintained that it won’t go for a caste-based census as per rule.

On August 10, Lok Sabha passed a bill allowing states to decide who their Other Backward Classes (OBCs) are. The 127th Constitution Amendment Act, 2021, restores the power of states to identify socially and educationally backward classes (SEBCs), usually called OBCs. This bill was necessitated by the Supreme Court’s interpretations of some provisions in the 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act, which had inserted Article 338B and Article 342A (with two clauses) after Article 342.

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