The Jharkhand government has sent a proposal to the Centre for enlisting 36 backward castes, including the Kurmis, into the Central list of Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
However, some names on the list are already on the Central list. These include the Kurmis, as well as the Chandravanshi and Chasa communities.
Enlisting in the Central OBC list will allow these castes representation in Central government jobs and in Central education institutes.
In a written reply filed in the ongoing Monsoon Session of the legislative Assembly on Monday to a question by AJSU MLA Lambodar Mahto, the government said 36 castes were on the new list.
According to the letter, sent by Vandana Dadel, Secretary to the Government, Department of Personnel, Administrative Reforms and Rajbhasha to Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of Inda, “…These castes have already been notified as Backward Caste-Schedule 1 and Backward Caste Schedule-2 for the purpose of extending benefits of reservation in admission to educational institutions and/or appointments in government jobs in Jharkhand. However, the corresponding enlisting of these castes into the Central list of OBCs is still awaited.”
In another question, Mahato asked whether names of castes which have earlier been enlisted in the Central list have also been sent. To this, the government replied: “Aswikaratmak (not acceptable).”
Talking to the Indian Express after the session, Mahato said several castes already in the Central OBC list were sent for enlisting again. “For example, Kurmi, Chandravanshi and Chasa communities are already in the Central list and the Jharkhand government says they are not. I will raise it in the Assembly that officers in the government are misleading them,” Mahato said.
When contacted, secretary Vandana Dadel refused to comment on the issue.
Making up an estimated 10-12% of the state’s population, the Kurmi community has also been demanding for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. Their leaders claim their votes could be instrumental in over 25 percent of the seats in the state Assembly.
Increasing the OBC quota in government jobs and educational institutions in Jharkhand has been one of the biggest poll planks of all the state’s political parties.
In an election rally in Jharkhand ahead of the latest Assembly polls, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said the BJP gave Constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes. He had said that if the BJP was voted to power in the state, a committee would be formed to give more reservation to the OBC.
Currently in Jharkhand, OBCs constitute roughly 46% of the population and have a reservation quota of 14%.
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