Cabinet nod for caste census soon, says Pranab | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Cabinet nod for caste census soon, says Pranab

delhi Updated: Sep 01, 2010 00:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

The government on Tuesday said it had decided to include caste in the census and the cabinet was expected to endorse it shortly.

The Yadav trio — Sharad Yadav of the JD (U), Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party and Lalu Prasad of the RJD — had stalled House proceedings repeatedly over inclusion of caste in census 2011.

Replying to the issue raised by them during Zero Hour, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said all political parties had supported the idea of including caste in the census and there was no need of any apprehensions in this regard.

"A group of ministers has already taken a decision to include caste in household enumeration and the cabinet will take the final call on the issue shortly," Mukherjee said in the Lok Sabha on the last day of the monsoon session.

Mukherjee said the exercise would be limited to collection of information with regard to caste and the biometric exercise would go on simultaneously.

The issue had earlier divided the cabinet. "The government has more or less decided (to include caste in the census)," Mukherjee said.

Stating that the 11-member GoM was not an empowered body, he said its decision would have to be endorsed by the cabinet, which he hoped would be done at the next meeting. "It is now a matter of formality."

Sharad Yadav said the government had sought the views of parties, which had responded in writing but nothing was heard after that.

"There is unease in the country," he said, demanding an early response from the government. He was supported by Mulayam, BJP deputy leader Gopinath Munde and the BSP’s Dara Singh Chauhan.

Mulayam said there was consensus in the House over inclusion of caste in the census and there was "no party that did not support it".

He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Mukherjee had promised to implement it at the earliest but despite that it had not happened.