Caste-based census still divides cong, PC reply today | india | Hindustan Times
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Caste-based census still divides cong, PC reply today

india Updated: May 06, 2010 23:03 IST
HT Correspondent

Congress members remained divided on demands for a caste-based census, even as leaders of other political parties put up a show of unanimity supporting the move during the resumed debate in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

During the debate, support for the move came from across the political spectrum.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram will reply to the debate on Friday.

Of the five Congress members who participated in the debate, three opposed a caste-based census, while two supported the move.

Participating in the debate, Congress MP Sandeep Dikshit said the caste enumeration in the census would help the government in its policy interventions to tackle poverty and backwardness.

His party colleague Beni Prasad Verma also supported the move. Those Congress leaders opposing the move included Lal Singh, Vinay Kumar and Bhakta Charan Das.

BJP’s Gopinath Munde put up a strong case in support of a caste-based census, even as the party is reportedly divided in the matter. Munde also said the goal of dispensing justice to OBCs would get delayed by another ten years, if the caste census was not done. CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta also supported the move.

Sharad Yadav of JD-U said caste was a reality in India, “a volcano that could erupt at any time in the future, if the backwards are ignored for long”.

Echoing his stance, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said when the government could count trees and nullahs in every survey, what was the problem in including castes in the ongoing census exercise?

RJD president Lalu Prasad warned the government of social turmoil, if it failed to address existing social inequalities.