The Congress on Thursday demanded that the government make public the report of caste-based census to help implement reservation on its basis. Congress leader Tamradhwaj Sahu said the party had extended its full support to a bill seeking to grant constitutional status to the OBC Commission and it had debunked BJP’s propaganda that the party was against the OBC.
The Congress Lok Sabha MP, also the party’s OBC cell chief, said the party never opposed reservation for OBCs and had always been committed to their welfare. He expressed hope that the benefits for OBCs would be given to them in the coming months and that the bill would not remain merely a “chunavi jumla (election gimmick)”. “It was during the Congress’ rule that the process of caste-based census was initiated. Now the exercise has been completed and the report submitted, the government should make public the report. Why it is not making it public,” he told reporters.
He also urged the government to implement reservation on the basis of the report’s findings. Sahu said it was during the Congress’ rule that Kaka Kalelkar committee was constituted which came out with several recommendations for the welfare of the OBCs. While the Congress leader clarified his stand on the OBC bill in Lok Sabha, he did not spell out the party’s strategy in the Rajya Sabha which would finally pass the bill to help it become a law.
The bill for giving constitutional status to OBC Commission was passed in the Lok Sabha in 2017, but the Rajya Sabha made some amendments in it, including having a woman member in the OBC Commission. The BJP and its leaders including prime minister Narendra Modi accused the Congress of “delaying” the bill to grant constitutional status to OBC Commission and dubbed the opposition party as “anti-OBC”. Sahu also hit out at the prime minister, asking if he was getting sympathy for being an OBC leader why did he not bring measures for their welfare four years ago and waited for this much time to pass before bringing the bill.
Sahu hoped after the passage of the bill, the backlog of jobs for OBCs and other benefits to them be granted soon in the next few months. He pointed out at around 1.5 lakh posts reserved for OBCs were lying vacant in the government.