OBC chieftains oppose 'delay' in caste count

TNN, Aug 13, 2010, 02.26am IST

NEW DELHI: A day after a ministerial panel gave its nod to caste
census, OBC satraps raised apprehensions about the feasibility of
doing the caste count at the stage of biometric capture, forcing the
government to assure them it was not trying to hoodwink them.

The OBC satraps were on their feet no sooner had the Lok Sabha
assembled on Thursday, raising doubts on the GoM's decision on
Wednesday to have caste count during the biometric stage. They implied
that it may actually sabotage their agenda to have a headcount of

The protest by JD(U), SP, BSP and RJD led to adjournment of question
hour, and the government for the first time made an official
announcement that caste census would happen but the modalities were to
be worked out.

Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee said "caste will be canvassed
without affecting the integrity of headcount".

The statement was worked out in a meeting where Mukherjee and home
minister P Chidambaram told OBC leaders that caste count could only be
done at the stage when the biometric signs of citizens are taken.

While it was not spelt out officially owing to the technicality that
Cabinet was still to decide, the assurance bore fruit and LS resumed

The protesting outfits said caste count at the biometric stage would
never happen and it should be taken up during the headcount.

The biometric stage will see special camps being set up across the
country in November-December to collect fingerprints and iris scan of

"Are we fools? Biometric stage will never come," SP chief Mulayam
Singh Yadav said. The leaders said biometrics would be a long-drawn
process. "This (biometric) exercise cannot be completed in 100 years.
The decision to hand out voter identity cards was taken 15 years ago
and has not been implemented completely," Sharad Yadav said.

Read more: OBC chieftains oppose 'delay' in caste count - India - The
Times of India

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