Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of denying the Other Backward Classes their due share in the power structure by declining a caste-based census.
The Uttar Pradesh government, however, dismissed the criticism, saying that Akhilesh Yadav was extending false sympathy towards the OBCs as the party did nothing for the community’s welfare and development when in power in Uttar Pradesh.
On Saturday, Akhilesh lashed out, “The outright refusal by the Centre to carry out an OBC census is extremely serious and very worrying. It exposes the BJP’s electoral interests in the OBC politics and shows the difference between what they are claiming and what they are doing. The demand for a separate census for OBCs had been gathering steam in the country but the Centre’s stand has dashed their hopes.”
The SP chief further said, “By declining to accept the long-standing demand of the OBCs for caste-based census, the BJP has proved that the ruling party is against the concept of social justice. The BJP is against the inclusion of the caste category in census as the party wants to deny the OBCs their due share in power as per their share in population.’’
The political war over a census for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) has heated up after the Centre submitted in the Supreme Court that inclusion of the category in the ongoing census at this stage was cumbersome and hence not possible. The Centre submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court calling the OBC census at this point “administratively extremely complex” and stating that it will “not yield accurate information”. The affidavit also said that the “raw data of 2011 socio economic caste census is also flawed”.
The BJP-led UP government, however, contradicted the claims of the SP chief and government spokesman Sidharth Nath Singh said, “Akhilesh Yadav is only dishing out false sympathy towards the OBCs as his party has always patronised a particular 'caste'. Akhilesh Yadav has never been concerned about the people of Uttar Pradesh and instead his party has always been biased towards the people of a particular caste. The Samajwadi Party stood thoroughly exposed when it came to serve the underprivileged and poor.”
“Did Akhilesh do anything else apart from posting tweets on different issues only to malign the image of the Yogi Adityanath government, that too without any substantive evidence?.He should come out with concrete facts as to what SP did for underprivileged when it was in the power,” Singh sought to know and added that the former chief minister of UP had always practised politics of appeasement and hence he was now scared of simple word 'abbajaan'.
Earlier on Friday, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati had hit out at the BJP, a day after the Centre declined in the Supreme Court to include caste as a category in census, saying that the BJP continued to remain against the OBCs.
The long-pending demand of the OBCs has been gathering steam in the recent months with several states, including BJP allies and opposition parties in UP, bidding to outdo each other for the OBC vote bank ahead of the 2022 UP assembly elections.