The Centre Tuesday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to stop issuing Scheduled Caste certificates to 17 OBC castes. Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Tawar Chand Gehlot, speaking in Rajya Sabha, said the state government’s move is “not appropriate” and “unconstitutional”.
Making a short statement in the Upper House of the Parliament, Gehlot said including OBC castes in the SC list is in the domain of Parliament and asked the state government to follow proper procedures.
Central govt asks UP govt to stop issuing scheduled caste certificates to 17 OBC castes. Social Justice and Empowerment minister Thaawarchand Gehlot says UP govt’s move is not appropriate and unconstitutional. @IndianExpress
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Citing a 2017 observation of the Allahabad High Court, the BJP government in UP had directed officials to issue SC certificates to 17 OBC castes “after examination and based on documents in accordance with the rules”.
The June 24 direction to include 17 OBC castes — Kashyap, Rajbhar, Dhivar, Bind, Kumhar, Kahar, Kewat, Nishad, Bhar, Mallah, Prajapati, Dhimar, Batham, Turha, Godia, Manjhi and Machua — among the Schedule Castes, drew an angry response from BSP chief Mayawati who called it “unconstitutional”, saying these castes will neither get benefits meant for OBCs nor SCs since a state government has no power to make any alteration to the SC list.
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State officials said the government wanted the 17 castes in the SC list because these castes figure very low on social and economic indices. The officials maintained that the advantage of placing them in the SC list will entitle them to quota and other benefits announced by the government from time to time. But SC groups fear that such a move might impact their quota as the new entrants will consume their share if the reservation limit is not expanded.