Maharashtra parties call for inclusion of caste data in 2022 census

The OBC Reservation Rights Conference passed a resolution in Jalgaon on Saturday demanding caste-based census in the country. The meeting was chaired by state cabinet minister Chhagan Bhujbal.

Addressing the conference, Bhujbal said, “Anybody who questions the Centre, comes under the scanner of investigating agencies.”

“We demand the enumeration of caste during the 2022 population census. Unless there is a caste-wise census, how can one determine the quota percentage. On what basis are welfare schemes meant for backward classes going to be determined?” the minister for food and civil supplies asked.

Bhujbal said, “In the past, Dr B R Ambedkar had brought 7,500 caste groups together on one platform. Even if every caste or community has a separate organisation, they all must join hands to show their strength.”

Reiterating the state government’s commitment to OBC reservation, Bhujbal said, “We will pursue the OBC reservation case in the Supreme Court and take it to its logical end.”

Shiv Sena minister Gulabrao Patil, who also participated in the conference, said, “OBCs are a huge force constituting 52% of the population. We have to raise our voice for our rights.”

Independent (MLC) Kapil Patil said, “Several states have reservation up to 70%. Therefore, OBCs in Maharashtra should not buckle under any pressure. Instead, they should display greater solidarity to further the cause of reservation.”

Lok Sangharsh Morch’s Pratibha Shinde said the ‘anti-reservation policy’ of right-wing parties need to be countered effectively.