Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes (OSCBC) has recommended as many as 20 castes to the State government for inclusion in the State OBC list.

OSCBC member, Mitali Chinara informed about the development on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters, Chinara said, “We are conducting survey on the ground to collect grievances. The Commission has been hearing cases for inclusion in the OBC list.”

“There are some castes which were excluded from the list due to spelling errors. Those cases are being heard by the Commission and recommendations have been given accordingly,” Chinara said.

Earlier in 2021, the OSCBC members had met their Central counterparts to discuss inclusion of the Khandayat caste in the OBC list and recommended inclusion of 20 more castes in the State list.

The Opposition, particularly the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been cornering the BJD-led Odisha government over the OBC issue since long. The issue took centre stage during the urban polls last year (2022). The BJP had alleged that OBCs in the State are being deprived of their legitimate rights while the OBC Commission in the State can be seen nowhere.

The BJP maintained that there is no data regarding the OBC population even though 54 per cent of the State’s population or around 2.5 crore people fall in the category.

As per the data available with the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), the State of Odisha has 200 castes listed as OBC.

(Reported By Jagdish Das)