Ramakanta Biswas

The demand for caste-based census and removal of 50 per cent cap on reservation gained momentum again with the Odisha government tabling a resolution in this regard in the State Assembly on Thursday.

The resolution was tabled in the House by the SC & ST Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare Minister Jagannath Saraka amid ruckus by Opposition parties. 

The House will now send the resolution to the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes from where it will be sent to the Centre. 

Earlier, a delegation of BJD had met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and submitted a memorandum demanding the removal of 50 percent cap on reservation and conducting a caste-based census for socially and educationally backward classes (SEBCs). Besides, the party had organised a presser and claimed that the move will ensure social justice to backward classes.

During a discussion on the resolution today, the Opposition BJP and Congress were absent from the House. 
Attacking the government over the caste-based census and removal of 50 percent cap on quotas, BJP MLA Mukesh Mahaling alleged that it is merely a tactic to hoodwink the OBCs of the State. 

“Before conducting the caste-based census, the State government must provide reservation of 11.25 per cent to OBCs in education. The State OBC Commission must prepare a list of those coming under the SEBC category,” the legislator demanded. 

The monsoon session of the State Assembly which commenced on September 1 concluded today. A total of 13 Bills including the Odisha Municipal Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021 and Odisha Panchayat Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021 were tabled in the House during the session.