October 6, 2021 11:27:59 am
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao Tuesday said the state government would pass a resolution in the Assembly demanding the Centre to take up caste census in the country, as part of the upcoming Census 2022, to identify socially, economically, and educationally backward communities and increase reservations proportionate to their population.
Rao was speaking in the Assembly when he blamed the BJP government at the Centre for submitting an affidavit in the Supreme Court, expressing its inability to take up the caste-based census in the country. He found a mismatch between the population and the reservation extended to Scheduled Caste (SCs) and said there was a need to increase the existing reservations for SC communities from the existing 15 per cent owing to a rise in the communities’ population. He invoked Dr BR Ambedkar and said the Centre must continue with the aspirations of the architect of the Indian Constitution to ensure social justice to the SCs.
During a debate on the Dalit Bandhu scheme, recently rolled out by the TRS government, AIMIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi and Congress leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka had urged the government to pass a resolution in the Assembly on caste census. “Why is the Centre objecting to caste census? The Centre has even filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court against the caste census. We will pass a resolution in the Assembly soon and send it to the Centre for taking up a caste-based census,” Rao noted in his reply.
According to the CM, the population of SCs in Telangana was 17 per cent of the total state population, with about 18 lakh Dalit families living across the state. But in some districts such as Mancherial, the SC’s population is 26 per cent. It is 22 per cent in Jayashankar Bhupalpally district, 21 per cent in Jangaon, Khammam, Rangareddy, and Vikarabad, and 20 per cent in Karimnagar. Hyderabad has the lowest SC population with about 11 per cent, he said, quoting the Samagra Kutumba Survey, conducted by the state government in 2014.
The CM also reiterated that the Dalit Bandhu scheme of the state government would be extended to 100 families each in all of 119 constituencies in the state by March 2022. A sum of nearly Rs 3,500 crore was required to doll out cash assistance of Rs 10 lakh per eligible Dalit family. The CM announced that Rs 20,000 crore would be sanctioned in the upcoming state budget to include another 2 lakh Dalit families next year. All 18 lakh Dalit families would be covered in saturation mode in phases in subsequent years for Rs 1.8 lakh crore, he said, while adding that minorities, BCs, and economically weaker other castes (OCs) would be included later. Asked about the mobilization of funds for the scheme, he told the opposition leaders that if needed, the government would sell government lands for the benefit of Dalits.
Earlier in April 2017, the state government had passed a resolution in the assembly to increase reservations for Muslims from 4 per cent to 12 per cent and that of the Scheduled Tribe (STs) communities from 6.5 per cent to 9.8 per cent. The Center had rejected the proposed hike in reservations for Muslims stating it cannot allow religion-based reservations. Whereas, no decision has been taken yet by the Center regarding the enhancement of ST’s quota.
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