By B S Reporter
This time Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot is not leaving anything which can repeat his government. Now he harps on the issue of caste census – a subject which the opposition BJP has been avoiding. Gehlot said that his government is in favour of conducting a caste census. He announced that a six per cent additional reservation for the most backward castes within the Other Backward Class (OBC) category in the state will be provided.
Gehlot also reserving quota of SC-ST on the basis of population.
Currently, Rajasthan has 64% reservation: 21% for OBCs, 16% for SCs, 12% for STs, 10% for EWS and 5% for Most Backward Classes (MBC). An additional 6% will take the reservation to 70% – 1% more than Tamil Nadu which offers 69% reservation.
Elaborating more on granting the quota Gehlot on tweeted that a survey will be conducted by the OBC commission to identify the most backward castes in the OBC category and the commission will submit the report in a time-bound manner.
“With this, the most backward castes will get more opportunities for education and service in the government sector,” he tweeted.
Gehlot's announcement for caste census might have been drawn from similar step taken by Bihar government. Even courts have not found anything unconstitutional in this process.
“Gehlot has been watching the activities on caste census in Bihar. Now that the courts have not given any adverse decision on this process, Gehlot has also announced to implement this. Caste census is likely to draw a large number of votes for the party,” said a senior Congress leader.
Caste census in Bihar
At present caste census is being conducted in Bihar. It was challenged in the court but the Patna High Court upheld the caste survey being carried out by the Nitish Kumar government by dismissing petitions filed against it. The first phase of the exercise was completed on January 21.
A couple of days ago, the High Court's decision was challenged before Supreme Court which refused to stay the Patna High Court's August 1 order giving the go-ahead for a caste survey in Bihar, and deferred the hearing on petitions challenging it to August 14.
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