Cutting across the political divide, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday said a delegation led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray would meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The agenda of the meeting is to demand a caste-based census to calculate the exact population of Other Backward Classes (OBC) to ensure effective welfare schemes for underprivileged communities. This comes after the Odisha Assembly on February 18 passed the Odisha State Backward Classes (Amendment), Bill.
Addressing the Assembly, Ajit Pawar said: "An all-party delegation of Maharashtra led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah to demand caste-based census to calculate OBC population for better and effective planning of welfare schemes for them."
Maharashtra will the third state after Odisha and Bihar to back a caste-based census. As per sources, senior ministers of the ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition said a caste-based census should be conducted by the state government if the Centre wasn’t willing to accept the demand for the same.
Furthermore, the Maharashtra Assembly has demanded a caste-based census of OBCs to ensure fair allotment of quotas in government jobs and educational institutions for underprivileged communities.
In a bid to identify socially and economically backward classes based on the socio-educational status, the Odisha Assembly on February 18 passed the Odisha State Backward Classes (Amendment), Bill. This move will enable Odisha's Backward Class Commission chaired by Retired Justice Raghunath Biswal, to conduct a survey and identify socially and economically backward classes. While moving the resolution in the Assembly, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik called the step "historic."
"In a historic move today, this House has resolved to amend the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993, to enable the Commission to make a survey of the social and educational conditions of the people belonging to the backward classes," CM Patnaik said in the Odisha Assembly.
The state government said that certain events and developments of the last few years had made it necessary to pass the Bill.
(With Inputs from ANI)