Mumbai

State recommends caste-based Census

Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, CM Uddhav Thackeray and Assembly Speaker Nana Patole interact at the Vidhan Bhavan during the one-day Joint Session of the Maharashtra State Legislature on Wednesday.

Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, CM Uddhav Thackeray and Assembly Speaker Nana Patole interact at the Vidhan Bhavan during the one-day Joint Session of the Maharashtra State Legislature on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Prashant Nakwe

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House also ratifies Constitution Amendment Bill to extend SC/ST reservation in Assembly by 10 years

In an unprecedented move, of which a number of ruling party ministers were also unaware, Speaker Nana Patole moved a suo motu resolution in the Assembly on Wednesday, recommending that the Centre add a separate column for OBCs in the Census. The Assembly passed the resolution unanimously.

A one-day session of the legislature was held to ratify the Constitution (126th Amendment) Bill, 2019, to extend the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe reservation in Assembly by 10 years. The amendment, too, was passed unanimously.

After the agenda of the day was over, Mr. Patole presented the resolution and said, “The new Census will be taken up in 2021. There is a need to get data on the OBC population so that they can be given benefits of development.” He said many delegations representing the OBC community had met him demanding such enumeration.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said the issue could be taken up in the Budget session next month. “While a Speaker can always take such a decision, it will be better if it is first presented in the business advisory committee (BAC),” he said.

Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said the Opposition would support the resolution whenever it is taken up. OBC leader and Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said it is of extreme importance that the actual OBC population is counted. “We are still following the number of OBCs calculated by the British in 1931. There have been recommendations and committees in successive governments … The census should have a separate column for OBCs,” Mr. Bhujbal said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anil Parab said only the business finalised by the BAC for the day should be taken up in the House. Mr. Patole said taking up the issue next month would be too late and read out the resolution, which was passed by the Assembly unanimously.

Speaking to The Hindu after the House was adjourned, Mr. Patole said, “The demand has been pending for years. As Speaker, it is my responsibility to extend justice not only to MLAs, but to the people as well. I hope that the Central government will take note of the resolution as well as those passed by other States.” He said he had checked precedence, and there were examples of a Speaker moving a resolution suo motu.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 7:10:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/maharashtra-assembly-passes-resolution-seeking-caste-based-census/article30511738.ece

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