12 January 2020
Bhubaneswar: As economic condition of a State depends on the socio-cultural economic factors, Socio-Economic Caste Census is needed to prepare a roadmap to spread development across the state and it is not unconstitutional, said BJD spokesperson Debi Prasad Mishra on Sunday.
"The Cabinet has approved the resolution for Socio-Economic Caste Enumeration, let Odisha Government communicate with the Centre and further comments can be given based on the response," said Mishra.
He further said the Opposition is naturally irked as the BJD has gone a step ahead in taking the decision, which is not an attempt to divide on the basis of caste, religion and race. Rather, it is a step to assimilate all as the State believes in Lord Jagannath's culture.
The statement came after Congress MP Ranjib Biswal alleged that the decision of Odisha Cabinet to move the Centre to conduct a Socio-Economic Caste Enumeration simultaneously along with the General Census in 2021 is another plan to create divisions among people.
Expelled Congress leader Srikant Jena, citing the 1931 caste census and Articles 15(4) and 16(4) of the Indian Constitution, also questioned why Odisha Government is not providing reservations as per the recommendations of the Mandal Commission, which used the census data to identify the socially or educationally backward classes to consider the question of reservations of seats and quotas.