There are growing voices in the Congress for a discussion within the party on the caste-based census issue that the Group of Ministers (GoM) will look into.
“There should be a debate in the party’s zonal conferences and other forum on it,” said at least two Congress leaders a day after Minister of state (home) Ajay Maken opposed it in a letter to 67 young MPs across parties. The party's Core Group, which includes PM Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, met on Friday in the backdrop of the caste count controversy, Jharkhand crisis and developments in Andhra.
Officially, the Congress questioned the manner in which Maken flagged the issue. “Whatever he said must be his personal opinion. Any person holding a responsible position in government or party should not express his views in this manner...,” said general secretary Janardan Dwivedi.
Clearly, what applied to Maken would also apply to ministers like Veerappa Moily who publicly supported a caste count.