Pradeep Pattanayak

With Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar releasing the OBC survey report on Monday, the Opposition parties- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress in Odisha cornered the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) here on Tuesday.

The survey to ascertain the population of OBC, and their financial, social, and educational status started on May 1 and concluded on June 24 in the state. Meanwhile, the report is learnt to have been submitted to the government. However, the Odisha government is yet to make the report public. 

“The OBC survey hasn’t been done perfectly. From this, it can be understood that the government lacks commitment towards the other backward classes,” said BJP leader Nauri Nayak. 

In his response, senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra said, “The government had not made sitting arrangements for the Commission officers and staff for a long period. They (BJD) even did not provide staff to assist the Commission. Even today, they are not assisting the Commission. They are completely anti-OBC.”

BJD MLA Debiprasad Mishra retorted, “Had the government been anti-OBC, it would not have constituted a Commission.”

Amid the allegations and accusations, the government had started the process for the survey early in the year. Justice Raghunath Biswal was appointed as the Chairman of the Commission. Taking 120 castes, detailed information about them was collected. On the other hand, from reliable sources, it is learnt that the population of the OBC is around 1.91 crore. It is expected that the government will soon release the report. 

“In the coming election, the OBC survey is going to be a big issue. In Odisha, the government is least bothered about the OBC. It is because they have not released the report as yet,” said senior journalist Rabi Das.

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