A Bill to modify the list of Scheduled Castes in Tamil Nadu by grouping seven castes which presently exist as separate was passed by Rajya Sabha Monday after clearing Lok Sabha Friday.
Moving The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot said seven sub-castes would be encompassed under Devendrakula Vellalar with the exclusion of the Kadian community in certain listed districts. He said this has nothing to do with the elections.
Mallikarjun Khare, Leader of the Opposition, asked why this was brought up only before the Assembly elections in the state. He described how Gandhi had concerns about reservations but that Babasaheb Ambedkar had convinced him. Now, he said, he sees reservations are slowly decreasing.
BJP’s Bhupendra Yadav said Congress was the reason Ambedkar didn’t make it to Lok Sabha in his first election. “We need to stay away from Congress’s attempt to make reservations based on religion. This reservation will be made based on caste and it will stay for them. Discrimination has happened on the basis of caste … We don’t pit sections of society against each other in our mission.”
AIADMK’s A Navaneethakrishnan said the Bill is a “timely action and appropriate”.