The Congress on Thursday struck a middle path on inclusion of caste in census.

Party spokesman Manish Tewari said there were two aspects to the caste census conundrum. One was that whether the practice, which was abolished in 1931, be re-instituted.

Another aspect was that when there was an expanding phase of affirmative action, there was need to put it on an empirical basis which might require a headcount, the spokesman said.

“GoM, right forum”

“Therefore, the need to balance the twin imperatives of social cohesion and social inclusion requires that the matter needs to be studied in profound detail and the mechanism of Group of Ministers is the appropriate forum to do that,” Mr. Tewari said.

This is for the first time the party, leading the United Progressive Alliance, has spoken on the issue.

Earlier, the Congress had earlier steered clear of the matter saying it was for the government to take a view on it.

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