Maharashtra Speaker supports demand for caste-based Census

Maharashtra Speaker supports demand for caste-based Census

NEW DELHI: Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker Nana Patole on Sunday said he would support the demand of OBC leaders to boycott the exercise to conduct the General Census 2021 if a caste-based enumeration is not allowed.nnSpeaking at an event here, the Speaker said leaders cutting across the party lines had demanded that a delegation be sent to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for allowing the caste-based Census to find the population of people from Other Backward Classes (OBCs).nn”OBC leaders have decided that if the caste Census is not conducted they would boycott the General Census (exercise) and I would support them.nn”If a government does not follow the norms of the Constitution, then an individual has the freedom to boycott (any exercise mandated by the government). We will follow the mantra of Mahatma Gandhi,” he said.nnPatole said since the prime minister belongs to a backward community (OBC) he should understand the pains of the people.nnThe Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on January 8 unanimously passed a resolution urging the Centre for a caste-based Census to find out the population of OBCs across the country.nnThe resolution was moved suo moto (“on its own”) by the Speaker.nnReferring to that resolution, Patole said the state government can examine if a separate Census exercise can be undertaken in Maharashtra like the demands made in Tamil Nadu and Bihar.nnPatole also said a “right” decision would be taken on the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) in the state legislature which is currently in session.nnPatole, a former BJP MP, had quit the saffron party following differences with the Prime Minister on agrarian issues, and rejoined the Congress in December 2017.nnThe Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the state comprises the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress.nnSource: Press Trust of India

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