Friday, May 7, 2010

pranb brokered census deal

7 May 2010



From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's personal initiative to speak to Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad, the known OBC champions, in his Parliament House chamber for some 30 minutes after the Lok Sabha was adjourned due to pandemonium ultimately clinched the caste counting in the 2011 Census.

He then rushed to the Prime Minister and convinced him that the OBCs do not get any further advantage in reservation by making the headcount to know their exact percentage in the country and as such better concede the demand for enumerating castes in the Census.

The government's indecision on caste count in the 2011 Census due to sharp division in the Cabinet had earlier compelled Home Minister P Chidambaram from giving any definitive response in his reply to a debate spread over Wednesday and Thursday.

After Dr Manmohan Singh brought cheers in the House by announcing that the government would take a positive decision soon on the caste-based census, Mukherjee too indicated to the House later before it was adjourned sine die to take the PM's word as "the decision already taken."

Sources said Mukherjee was among those who had opposed the caste-based Census on the ground that it would throw up unforeseen consequences, but he was convinced after talking to Mulayam and Lalu Prasad that SCs and STs are already counted and so no harm if the castes are also enumerated to have an exact count of OBCs.


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