Lucknow: Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is contemplating to include the 17 OBCs caste in the schedule caste list and send this recommendation to the Centre.
The power to declare any caste as 'Scheduled Caste' rests with the Centre, Incidentally this issue has been a major plank for the Samajwadi Party as both father and son Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav, as chief ministers had made this recommendation to the Centre. The Center has so far thrice rejected this recommendation. This will be the fourth time that the state government will be making an attempt to include 17 OBCs caste in SC category.
If the UP government's recommendations are allowed by the Centre this time then it will be a master stroke to counter the coming of the OBCs and dalits with the SP-BSP alliance as both the parties are at daggers drawn on this issue.
The SP since 2004 has maintained a consistent campaign for the inclusion of 17 OBCs caste in SC list, the Bahujan Samaj party vehemently opposed the idea terming it as ` conspiracy to dilute the reservation quota for the dalits''.
Samajwadi Party since 2004 vigriously pursued the move to include 17 OBCs in SC list with clear political motives. First the party was eager to expand its social base as in common perception it's a Yadav centric party. Second the SP wanted to damage the Dalit vote bank of its bitter rival Bahujan Samaj party. To protect its social base among Dalits BSP vehemently protested against the move and demanded increase in quota for the SC from present 21 percent if the 17 OBCs caste are included in SC list.
In 2013, a year ahead of the Lok Sabh elections, the Samajwadi Party had launched Samajik Nyaya Yatra demanding that these 17 OBCs be included in the SC bracket. The Yatra was led by Gayatri Prajapati – a Minister in Akhilesh Government.
Official sources said on Friday that the state government is preparing to recommend shifting of 17 OBC castes in the scheduled caste list and the Centre, this time, is all set to accept the recommendations by removing the legal irritants.
This is an almost 14- year- old demand by these caste groups that include Kahaar, Kashyap, Kewat, Nishad, Gond, Bhar, Prajapati, Rajbhar, Batham, Bind, Turha, Manjhi, Mallah, Kumhar, Dheevar Dheemar and Machua.
It must be noted that this is the fourth time that the state government will be making an attempt to include 17 OBC castes into the SC bracket.
The first attempt was made by Mulayam Singh Yadav regime when a resolution to this affect was approved by the cabinet in 2004 and the then SP government amended the UP Public Services Act, 1994, to include as many as 17 castes of OBCs into the SC category. The move was challenged in the Allahabad high court .The Allahabad High Court later quashed the decision declaring the move unconstitutional and void since this decision was beyond the constitutional jurisdiction of the state government. Mulayam Singh also sent the recommendation to the Center which was rejected.
The second attempt was made in 2012 when Akhilesh Yadav came to power and a high-level committee headed by the then chief secretary Jawed Usmani sent the recommendation to the Centre which was rejected.
The Akhilesh Yadav cabinet again adopted the proposal and sent recommendation to the Centre in December 2016 which was rejected. UNI