A day after all parties gave their consent for the caste-based census in Bihar, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday asked his party Ministers to take a decision in the Maharashtra cabinet on holding a caste-based census in the state. If the state cabinet approves Maharashtra will be the second state after Bihar.
Pawar at the meeting here emphasised the need for a caste-based census at the national level and reiterated that if the state cabinet takes a decision, it will give a push. Pawar's suggestion comes when the MVA government is locked in a legal battle for the restoration of the OBC quota in the state.
A senior minister, who was present at the meeting, told the Free Press Journal, ‘’Our party president has said that the Central Government should conduct caste-based Census to ascertain the facts and backwardness of different castes present across the country. He also referred to the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s statement that caste based count will be conducted in a set time frame. The Bihar Cabinet will meet to approve the decision and draw the contours of the census. NCP chief also insisted that party ministers should take up the issue and see that the state cabinet takes a decision for holding a caste-based census.’’
State NCP chief and Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil said the party will urge Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to convene an all party meeting to discuss conducting a caste-based census in Maharashtra.
Another minister recalled that the state assembly in 2020 had unanimously passed a resolution urging the Centre for a caste-based Census to find out the population of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) across the country. The resolution was moved suo-motu by Speaker Nana Patole and unanimously adopted by the Lower House.
In a related development, Pawar who has made a strong case for such a census at the national level will soon meet leaders from various parties to build up a consensus.
Meanwhile, Pawar reviewed the Maha Vikas Aghadi’s preparations for the Rajya Sabha election slated for June 10 especially when seven candidates are in the fray for six seats.
Patil claimed that horse trading may take place in the voting as BJP has fielded a third candidate. However, MVA will contest the election with full preparation so that its four candidates are elected.