The home ministry has asked the government to club the caste census along with BPL census, withdrawing earlier plans to go for a standalone caste count that would not have revealed their economic criteria.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and RJD president Lalu Yadav spoken out against the standalone census during the Budget session of Parliament, insisting that it would not throw any light on communities that needed to be given additional support.
Incidentaly, the home ministry had earlier opposed clubbing the caste count with the BPL census when the suggestion had first come from the National Advisory Council.
Government officials, however, indicated that clubbing the two headcounts could delay the exercise by a few months. The standalone census was slated to be held between June and September 2011.
Both caste census and BPL enumeration hold significance as the former will bring out a comprehensive data on the percentage of population of various castes in the country, the latter will determine the allocation of welfare funds to various sectors.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was understood to have asked for further consultations and deliberations amongst the various stakeholders on the issue after he met senior ministers of his cabinet to discuss the issue earlier.