New Delhi: The Centre has sighted different reasons for not holding the national caste census while the Congress and the social justice parties press for it to scientifically decide the quantum of reservation in jobs and higher education institutions that Other Backward Communities (OBC) deserve.
It is a major election issue of the opposition parties, ostensibly wooing OBCs and it has been also cited in the court judgments on reservation too.
With the caste census gaining ground in the Hindi heartland, the BJP has been explaining why a caste census cannot be held at some 70 to 80 meetings of the BJP OBC Morcha.
State vs Central OBCs list
The meetings cite administrative, legal and technical issues in conducting caste census. There are several castes that are not in the central OBC list, but under the state OBC lists. Besides there are several non-OBC castes which want to be included as OBCs.
This makes it difficult for the Centre to conduct a caste-based census, explained BJP OBC Morcha president K Laxman. He said some Brahmin castes were OBCs in UP. Similarly, the entire Vaishya community was in the OBC list in Bihar. However, they fall under the general category. Jat also in some parts of the country were not in the OBC list.
"We explain that a detailed survey to include all deserving castes in the OBC list was needed before holding a caste-based census. We also tell them that the Congress had done such a census, but did not release the data."
Laxman said the state governments were free to conduct caste based surveys. The Patna High Court, however, recently stayed a similar survey undertaken by the Bihar government.
Surveys conducted, data undisclosed
The previous Siddaramaiah government had conducted a survey in Karnataka, but again the data was not disclosed.
The BJP OBC Morcha is to organize several such meetings as part of the celebration of nine years of the Modi government. It is also organizing "Thank you Modi Ji" public meetings for his special schemes and initiatives for the OBCs.