Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday targeted the Odisha government over delay in Other Backward Classes (OBC) census in the State.

Addressing a press conference, president of Odisha BJP OBC Cell, Suratha Biswal said, “We have met the State OBC Commission four times demanding a survey in the State, but in vain. Even the Commission has expressed its helplessness saying that the State government does not listen to their requests.”

“Following the OBC Commission’s helplessness, we approached the SC & ST department and the Chief Secretary with a memorandum. We have informed the Chief Secretary that if the OBC census is further delayed then the BJP along with all the OBC population (54% ) of the State will take to the streets and gherao the Assembly till our demands are not fulfilled,” said Biswal.

The OBC census issue is being raise since the recently concluded Panchayat and civic polls in the State. The BJP has been targeting the State government over the actual number of the backward castes in the State.

The State government had told the Orissa High Court ahead of the polls that it has no data regarding the OBC population even though it is believed that 54 per cent of the State’s population or around 2.5 crore people belong to the category.

The Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes (OSCBC) recently recommended as many as 20 castes to the State government for inclusion in the State OBC list. As per the data available with the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), the State of Odisha has 200 castes listed under OBC.

(Reported By Harihar Chand, OTV)