Modalities of caste census to be worked out: Centre
Political Bureau
Posted online: 2010-08-13 23:29:13+05:30

New DelhiA day after the group of ministers (GoM) gave a go-ahead for
caste enumeration in the ongoing census exercise, the government told
the Lok Sabha on Thursday that the timing and the mechanism will be
worked out by the Cabinet.

Finance minister and leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee, who headed
the GoM, made this announcement to restore normalcy in the House after
the Opposition members forced an adjournment without taking up
Question Hour.

As Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the House till noon, Mukherjee and
home minister P Chidambaram met with several leaders—Sharad Yadav of
the JD(U), Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP), Lalu Prasad Yadav (RJD), Gopinath
Munde (BJP) and Sameer Bhujbal (NCP)—to sort out the issue. Sources in
the Opposition said the ministers indicated to them that the
government was inclined to go in for a caste census, but it could not
publicly state how it would be done on the floor of the House without
the Cabinet having taken a formal decision.

As soon as the House met, Mukherjee could be seen trying to catch the
attention of deputy Speaker Karia Munda to make the government
position clear. Congress president Sonia Gandhi was also seen
gesturing to Munda to let Mukherjee speak. Munda, however, started off
with paper-laying, making Mukherjee wait for a while.

He told the Lok Sabha: “The GoM wrote to all the political parties and
we have received the response from the political parties. The GoM met
on Wednesday and they considered the written response of all the
political parties. The decision taken by the GoM is that caste will be
converged in the census without affecting the integrity of the
head-count. How and when this should be done is under consideration.
Some suggestions have been made by the leaders today. All these will
be kept in view and an appropriate decision on the mechanism will be
taken shortly. As the decision will have to be taken by the Cabinet,
only after the Cabinet takes the decision, I will be able to inform
the House.”

Earlier, the three Yadavs, Munde and Dara Singh Chauhan of the BSP
held up Question Hour on the issue. Sharad Yadav said the Election
Commission had not been able to prepare photo identity cards for 15


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