BJP not opposed to caste census: Deputy CM Maurya
SP keeps talking about caste census, but doesn’t actually appear to be in its favour. Why didn’t they do something on the issue when they were in power, he asked
LUCKNOW Months ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, the BJP’s top OBC face in UP, said on Wednesday that his party’s governments weren’t averse to caste-based census, a demand over which nearly the entire opposition including various BJP allies in UP, seemed to be on the same page.
Also the leader of the House in the legislative council, Maurya made this clear inside the council as the opposition Samajwadi Party flagged the issue on which the BJP had largely treaded cautiously so far.
Keshav Prasad Maurya, while responding to the SP’s adjournment motion notice given during the zero hour, said: “SP members are well aware that such a census can only be ordered by the Centre. Our senior leadership has already cleared on many occasions that they aren’t opposed to caste census. SP keeps talking about caste census, but doesn’t actually appear to be in its favour. Why didn’t they do something on the issue when they were in power?” asked Maurya.
Maurya’s categorical assertion that the BJP wasn’t opposed to caste census underscored a party move to defeat the opposition plan of cornering the BJP on the emotive issue. It all started when SP MLCs Lal Bihari Yadav, Naresh Uttam Patel and Ashutosh Sinha, sought to corner the BJP on the subject inside the council.
“We seek caste-based census, but the BJP has stopped all census. In 2011, a caste census was done but the figures weren’t released. And, now, in 2023, all census exercise is on hold,” said SP lawmakers.
SP leader Swami Prasad Maurya also said, “In the past, BJP leader late Gopi Nath Mundey had said in Parliament that the country would be pushed back by at least 10 years, if the caste census wasn’t carried out. In 2019, the then Union home minister Rajnath Singh too had backed the caste census demand.”
The SP members later staged a walkout after Keshav Prasad Maurya started criticising them.
Can’t implement old pension policy: Govt
The state government on Wednesday cleared in the legislative council that implementing the old pension policy was not possible as the new pension scheme was now implemented from April 2005. The new scheme had been implemented in all educational institutions.
“The Centre implemented the new pension scheme in 2004, and in UP, this was implemented from April 1, 2005. The system has been in place since then,” said secondary education minister (independent charge) Gulab Devi.
The minister said benefits of the new pension scheme were also extended to self-finance institutions.
The government’s response came after leader of the teachers’ group Dhruv Kumar Tripathi raised the issue of old pension scheme.
“Teachers and employees across the country are raising the issue of old pension. In the state too, demands for restoration of the old pension scheme are being made and several protests are also being staged. The issue is also becoming a poll issue with parties in several states listing restoration of old pension in their manifesto. Yet, the government is avoiding the issue,” he said.
Manish Chandra Pandey