Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Monday batted for a “caste census” on the lines of the one conducted in Bihar by the Nitish Kumar government and said such a move will help find the exact population of all communities so that proportionate benefits can be given accordingly.
Addressing a public meeting in Madha in Solapur, Pawar also said the state government was positive about the quota demands of the Maratha community.
“I am of the opinion let there be a caste-based census here. The Bihar government carried it out in that state. With such an exercise, we will come to know the exact population of OBCs, SCs, STs, minorities, general category etc as benefits are given as per proportion of population,” he said.
Informing that he, along with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, had sought details of the caste survey in Bihar, Pawar said the exercise must be carried out in Maharashtra even if it costs “some thousand crores” as it will bring a “clear picture before the public”.
Pawar said the state government was positive about quota demands of the Maratha and Dhangar communities, but with the emphasis that such a move must not affect the 62 per cent reservation in place (52 per cent for SCs, STs and OBCs, as well as 10 per cent for Economically Weaker Sections).
“If reservation is given to Marathas and other communities from the existing 52 per cent, then those groups receiving benefits in this segment will be disappointed. Our efforts are to ensure quota provided above the 62 per cent at present is legally sustainable in the High Court and Supreme Court,” he said.
Pawar said quota activist Manoj Jarange has sought Kunbi certificates for Marathas so that the latter can get benefits under the Other Backward Classes category, whereas groups from the OBC category are submitting memorandums that no other community must be included in their segment.
With inputs from News18