Supporting the demand for a caste-based census, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Saturday assailed the Congress, the BJP and other parties for stalling the process. She said these parties had deprived the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) of their rights by not allowing the census during their tenure at the Centre. Ms. Mayawati accused the Congress and other parties of being anti-BCs.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Ms. Mayawati backed the caste-based census which, she said, would help in the educational and socio-economic uplift of the OBCs. She blamed the Opposition parties for the backwardness of the OBCs.

She saw a conspiracy in the move to thwart a caste-based census, to keep a huge chunk of population out of the mainstream of development. The move had also denied the OBCs their constitutional rights.

Stating that a large section of the religious minorities were included in the OBC category, Ms. Mayawati said they were used as a vote bank by the parties that ruled the Centre.

The BSP supremo said that even after 63 years of Independence, the socio-economic and educational status of the backward people remained the same. She stressed the need for a development strategy inclusive of the exact numbers of different sections of society.