GoM deadline near, Cong still divided | delhi | Hindustan Times
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GoM deadline near, Cong still divided

delhi Updated: Aug 05, 2010 00:07 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi

As the deadline for the political parties to finalise their respective stand on inclusion of caste in the census is fast approaching, differences continue to persist within the Congress on the issue.

The party is yet to formulate its stand and respond to a communication from a Group of Ministers (GoM), which is expected to finalise its report on the issue on August 6.

There are indications that the Congress might not even respond to the GoM letter.

"The party is not different from the government. We will go with the GoM on the issue," a senior party functionary said.

As part of consensus building within the party, the Congress is now preparing a draft paper on the issue in consultations with senior leaders, experts, lawyers and academics.

Another Congress leader said party is faced with dilemma on the matter on many factors.

"Discussion in the party is mainly revolved around whether such an exercise is at all required, if it is to be done, whether OBCs only or all castes should be enumerated...," he said.

Once the draft paper is ready, the leader said it could be taken to Congress core committee and then to the Congress Working Committee to take a final call.

Though a section in the Congress is totally against the inclusion of caste, leaders like Digvijay Singh see no harm in it.

On their part, state leaders, especially from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, have stated that the upper castes the party has been trying to woo are upset over the possibility of such a census.

They maintain any such move would threaten its efforts to woo the upper castes in the states where it is seeking revival.