Pradeep Pattanayak

While the state government has started the much-awaited OBC survey across Odisha from today, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) termed it a farce. 

Addressing a press conference organised at the party headquarters in Bhubaneswar, president of BJP OBC Morcha, Odisha, Surath Biswal targeted the BJD-led government saying the government doesn’t have interest to provide benefits to the people who are yet to be included in the list. 

“When it has been in the discussion that the 24-year-old State government has refrained 54 percent people from exercising their constitutional rights, the government has announced that the OBC survey will begin from today. But it is nothing but a farce,” said Biswal. 

“Why I am telling it to be a farce is because the survey will be conducted on the basis of the Odisha Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC). The present SEBC list is not a final one. At present, the names of several castes are featured in the OBC list of the Central government but not in the State SEBC list. A caste if featured in the Centre OBC list should automatically be included in the State OBC list. But that hasn’t happened,” alleged Biswal. 

“If the names of castes are not in the SEBC list, whose survey it is? How these 15 to 20 castes will be included in the survey? From this, it is evident that the State government doesn’t have interest in the preservation of these castes and has started a farce to divert these people’s attention,” he alleged. 

“We demand to finalise the caste list and not a single caste featured in the OBC list should be excluded and survey through door-to-door visit,” he added. 

Notably, the survey started from today will continue till May 27. Excluding Brahman, Karan, ST and SC, all the other 208 castes are participating in it. For this, Anganwadi centres and PDS article selling centres have been made the survey centres. The head of the family can visit the centre to submit data about his/her family members. 

In Bhubaneswar, the survey is underway at 101 centres set up at 70 schools. One can include his/her name by showing voter identity card, passport, PAN card or AADHAAR card. The nodal officer and the Mayor have been doing rounds of the centres. 

July 12 has been fixed as the last date for the completion of the entire process.