Realising that the issue is politically sensitive, the government is likely to seek time from the Supreme Court on whether Dalit Christians and Muslims should be included in the SC category. The Centre pleads that it does not have the necessary data. The issue will come up for hearing on February 24.
After a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs on Monday, there were indications that the government is likely to take the stand that it is not in a position to take a decision until it gets the relevant data. And as a census operation under way, it would like to await the collection of data before formulating its stand. Meanwhile, it would go by what the court says. The CCPA is chaired by PM Manmohan Singh and includes NCP's Sharad Pawar, National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, Trinamool Congress's Mamataa Bannerjee and DMK’s Dayanidhi Maran.
Both Bannerjee and Maran's parties are facing crucial elections in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu and cannot afford to take a stand. “Whether we agree or disagree-either way we are sunk,” said a UPA member.