Unveiling V.P. Singh’s statue in Chennai, Stalin reiterates demand for caste census

Committee comprising MPs from all parties should be formed to ensure that reservation is implemented nationally, says the Chief Minister

November 27, 2023 12:30 pm | Updated November 28, 2023 03:33 am IST - CHENNAI

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, at the unveiling of the statue of former Prime Minister V.P. Singh at the Presidency College in Chennai on Monday, November 27, 2023

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, at the unveiling of the statue of former Prime Minister V.P. Singh at the Presidency College in Chennai on Monday, November 27, 2023 | Photo Credit: M. Srinath

Unveiling a statue of former Prime Minister V.P. Singh on the Presidency College campus in Chennai on Monday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin reiterated that the Union government should undertake a caste census along with the decadal census.

The reservation meant for Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and minorities should be implemented properly, Mr. Stalin said and further called for constituting a committee with MPs from all parties to ensure its implementation nationally.

“All political parties focussing on social justice at the national level should jointly coordinate with each other for the welfare of the people,” Mr. Stalin said, while sharing the dais with Samajwadi Party president and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at Kalaivanar Arangam.

Social justice was not an exclusive issue to any one State but to all States, Mr. Stalin maintained and said that it was the solution to discrimination, untouchability, slavery and injustice.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, at the unveiling of the statue of former Prime Minister V.P. Singh at the Presidency College in Chennai on Monday, November 27, 2023

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, at the unveiling of the statue of former Prime Minister V.P. Singh at the Presidency College in Chennai on Monday, November 27, 2023 | Photo Credit: M. Srinath

Earlier in the day, Mr. Stalin unveiled the statue in the presence of Mr. Yadav and family members of the late former Prime Minister. Addressing a gathering after the statue unveiling event, Mr. Stalin recalled how “some dominant forces” opposed when then Prime Minister V.P. Singh implemented the recommendations of the B.P. Mandal Commission.

“It was V.P. Singh, who opened the doors of social justice to oppressed people. V.P. Singh was not worried of even losing his Prime Minister’s post. This Dravidian model government feels it is its duty to install his statue,” Mr. Stalin said.

Lauding the actions of V.P. Singh, Mr. Stalin contended if the people from backward communities had moved one step forward, it was due to the former PM. “Even today, we could not realise our rights completely. To be specific, reservation for OBC in educational institutions was implemented only after 2006.”

Citing statistics, he said 85 of the 89 Secretaries of various departments in the Union government and 82 of the 93 Additional Secretaries in these departments were from higher communities. He added that Central law universities in many States, including Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand did not follow reservation.

“Reservation is not being followed in the appointment of judges in the High Court and in the Supreme Court. The reservation is not being implemented in higher posts in the government departments. We have to work continuously to change this situation,” Mr. Stalin said. Ministers Duraimurugan, K. Ponmudy, E.V. Velu, Udhayanidhi Stalin, M.P. Saminathan, Chief Secretary Shiv Das Meena and senior officials were present on the occasion.

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