"Will Do Whatever Is Sensible To Reduce Discrimination": Odisha Chief Minister On Caste-Based Census
In the backdrop of the Centre virtually ruling out a caste-based census as per its affidavit in the Supreme Court, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday said that Odisha will do whatever will be sensible for its people in order to reduce the discrimination in the state.Mr Patnaik, who is in the national capital today, while speaking to ANI said, "We will do whatever will be sensible for our people. Our government stands by it and we are fighting for it."Mr Patnaik was responding to a question on his move on ''Caste-based Census'' in Odisha. The Odisha chief minister was in the national capital to attend meeting held by Union Minister Amit Shah.Mr Patnaik had last month said, "In our state, 94 per cent of the population are the victim of discrimination. In order to give social justice to the people, we have created an OBC commission. We are collecting a database at our own level to find out their consumption practice, health and education parameters.""Unless the government does not generate authentic data, the Supreme Court is not going to lift the 50 per cent cap on the reservation," the statement added.Several opposition party leaders have voiced their demand for a caste-based census in their respective states.Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday slammed the BJP saying the ruling party is not in favour of giving OBCs their ''rights proportional to their population''.Taking to Twitter, Akhilesh Yadav said, "By rejecting the long-standing demand for enumeration of ''OBC'' society, the BJP government has proved that it does not want to count the ''Other Backward Classes'' because it does not want to give rights to the OBCs in proportion to their population."Earlier, leader of the Opposition in the Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Yadav also questioned the Centre's affidavit and asked that if not allowing the caste census was indeed a conscious decision of the BJP, then why did its MLAs in Bihar agree to pass the proposal favouring caste census?The Central government submitted an affidavit in the Supreme court on Thursday saying that the census of backward classes is "administratively difficult" and will suffer both on account of completeness and accuracy.The Centre, in an affidavit in the Supreme Court said the exclusion of any caste other than Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe from the purview of the upcoming 2021 Census is a "conscious policy decision" taken by the Central government.The affidavit of the Central government was filed on a plea of the Maharashtra government asking to share census data of OBCs collected by the Centre in 2011-2013.