Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has questioned the Odisha government’s move to pass a resolution seeking enumeration of Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) and Castes alongside the upcoming general census in 2021 while denying State-wide reservation for the said categories.

In a letter to State Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, Pradhan termed the move to pass the resolution as “a dilatory and dichotomous step trying to mask the extant policies of the State Government denying State-wide reservation for OBC and SEBC categories.”

Mentioning about central government’s 27% reservation to OBCs in government jobs as well as in educational institutions, the Union Minister questioned why Odisha is not implementing it.

“Even nearly thirty years of implementation of said reservations, it is difficult to decipher why Government of Odisha is not providing any such reservations to OBCs in public employment or in educational institutions and to SEBCs in educational institutions,” Pradhan wrote.

As per the resolution passed by the Odisha Cabinet on January 11, the State government decided to move the Government of India seeking that an enumeration of SEBC and Other Backward Classes/Castes be conducted simultaneously along with the General Census.