New Delhi [India], October 19 (ANI): Former Andhra Pradesh chief minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to include caste data in census enumeration to ensure the development of backward classes (BC).
In his letter, Naidu stated that the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly (APLA), under the then Telugu Desam Party-led Government, had passed a resolution for the BC census unanimously. "The same was sent to the Government of India for consideration," he added.
Highlighting that the backward classes constitute the majority of the population in India, Naidu reiterated the need for a caste-based census and said, "Despite various Government policies aimed at their welfare and development, BCs continue to live in poverty and deprivation. This is due to the lack of adequate data on their population that also impedes the effectiveness of the implementation of schemes meant to uplift them. Hence, it is requested to include caste data in census enumeration to ensure targeted welfare and development of BCs."
He also said that the first BC Commission in 1953, the Kalelkar Commission, and the later Commissions, including those of the various State Governments had all recommended the enumeration of the Backward Classes in the census.
"The previous data on the population of castes are as old as 90 years and best described as outdated," Naidu said.
Various parties including the Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, among others have raised the demand for the caste-based census.
Recently, the Central government submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying that the census of backward classes is "administratively difficult" and will suffer both on account of completeness and accuracy.
The Centre, in an affidavit in the Supreme Court said the exclusion of any caste other than Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe from the purview of the upcoming 2021 Census is a "conscious policy decision" taken by the Central government.
The affidavit of the Central government was filed on a plea of the Maharashtra government asking to share census data of OBCs collected by the Centre in 2011-2013. (ANI)