Chhattisgarh CM asks why Centre is not conducting census, accuses BJP of being anti-reservation

Chhattisgarh CM asks why Centre is not conducting census, accuses BJP of being anti-reservation

Raipur: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Saturday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of being against reservation, and asked why the Union government was not carrying out the decennial census which has been due since 2021. Talking to reporters here, he also took a swipe at the BJP over a purported list of its candidates for the coming assembly elections in the state which has gone viral, saying that this `leak' was the result of the infighting within the saffron party.

The opposition party recently asked why the Bagel government had not published the report of the socio-economic survey conducted in the state. Asked about it, Baghel said, The BJP is against reservation. When the court asked on what basis the state government provided 27 percent reservation to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs)....then a headcount was conducted for the OBCs and Economically Weaker Section (EWS).

"In the headcount, it was found that there are 43.5 percent OBCs and 3.5 percent EWS in the state, based on which reservation was provided for them. Does the BJP not believe that there are more than 43 percent OBCs in the state? If they do not believe it, then why don't they conduct the 2021 census? When we can conduct a socio-economic survey, Bihar can carry out a survey, then why the BJP (Union government-led by BJP) can not do it, he asked.

On Friday, speaking at an event in Kanker district of Chhattisgarh, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi had said if her party retained power in the state, a caste census will be conducted. Asked by reporters about a purported list of about 50 candidates of the BJP circulating on social media, Baghel claimed that it was leaked (by someone in the saffron party) due to its internal factionalism. The infighting in the BJP has, thus, come to the fore, he said.

About the Enforcement Directorate (ED) probing the illegal betting app `Mahadev Online Book', he said the Union government should first tell us when it was going to shut down this app, and "why it was not conducting an unbiased probe into it."

Notably, the Congress government in Chhattisgarh increased the reservation for the OBCs from 14 percent to 27 percent and provided 10 percent reservation to the EWS category in 2019, but when it was challenged, the high court stayed it and sought quantifiable data of the concerned populations.

Based on the report of the quantifiable data commission, the state government then got passed two amendment bills, under which the Scheduled Tribes get 32 percent quota, OBCs 27 percent, Scheduled Castes 13 percent and EWS four percent. But the bills are awaiting the governor's assent. (PTI)


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