The Centre told the Supreme Court that caste Census of backward classes is "administratively difficult and cumbersome" and excluding such information from the purview of Census is a "conscious policy decision".
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Friday expressed grave concern over the Centre’s “refusal” for carrying out a caste-based census and said it exposed the BJP of using the OBC community only for its electoral interests.
Mayawati’s reaction comes after the Centre told the Supreme Court that caste Census of backward classes is “administratively difficult and cumbersome” and excluding such information from the purview of Census is a “conscious policy decision”.
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“The categorical refusal of the Central government to conduct the caste census of the backward classes by filing an affidavit in the Hon’ble Supreme Court is a matter of grave concern which exposed the OBC politics of BJP’s electoral interests and also the difference in their words and deeds,” the BSP supremo said in a tweet in Hindi.
“Like SC and ST, the demand for conducting caste census of OBC class has gained a lot of emphasis all over the country, but the Centre’s categorical refusal to do so is going to hurt the entire society and their future in the same way as their backlog in jobs,” she added.
The Centre’s stand assumes significance as recently, a 10-party delegation from Bihar, which was led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding caste Census.
In an affidavit filed in the apex court, the government has said that caste enumeration in Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 was fraught with mistakes and inaccuracies.
The affidavit was filed in the top court in response to a plea by Maharashtra seeking a direction to the Centre and other concerned authorities to disclose to the state the SECC 2011 raw caste data of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) which is not made available to them on repeated demand.
It said enumeration of OBCs/BCCs (Backward Class of Citizens) has been always adjudged to be administratively extremely complex and even when Census of castes were taken in the pre-independence period, the data suffered in respect of completeness and accuracy.