: The former Minister A.K. Balan said here on Friday that he belonged to the Scheduled Castes and allegations by Chief Whip P.C. George to the contrary were baseless. “The documents that Mr. George produced cannot label me as one not belonging to the Schedule Caste community,” he said.

Mr. Balan was talking to presspersons when he arrived here to inaugurate a seminar in connection with the State conference of the Kerala State Electricity Board Officers Association. He said the Scheduled Caste certification for the Paravan community was not one issued by Mr. George but a status obtained through a Constitutional amendment.

It was in 1976 when Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister that all members of the Paravan community of Kerala got listed in the Scheduled community.

He said Mr. George's statement that Paravan community members do not belong to the Scheduled Caste had antagonised all members of the Paravan community against the United Democratic Front.