Caste-based census required: Veerappa Moily


New Delhi: As opposition members continued to create a ruckus in parliament over their demand for a caste-based census, Law Minister Veerappa Moily too came out in support of such a measure, even while he accepted that it will be not done during the current exercise.

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Moily, who belongs to the backward class, said that a caste-based census would be “more authentic”.

At a union cabinet meeting Tuesday, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said the census commission may not be the proper instrument to do a caste count, but it could be done by the Backwards Commission.

Moily said the caste-based census would provide authentic information on caste figures as the last such survey was done in 1931.

He added that Chidambaram’s remarks were a reflection of the home ministry. “As a home minister he has a view, and he will reflect those,” said Moily.

But he denied that the government was divided over the issue. “There is difference in view, but that does not mean division (in the cabinet),” he said.

Veerappa Moily, along with other Congress leaders from the backward classes and Communications and IT Minister A. Raja and Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy, supported the demand for a caste-based census at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.

Members from many parties, led by Rashtriya Janata Dal and Samajwadi Party, have forwarded their demand for including caste count in 2011 census.

“It will reveal the actual figure of backward classes,” Samajwadi Party member Shailendra Kumar told IANS, adding it is important for their upliftment.

Main opposition party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also extended its support for a caste based census.

Speaking in favour, party leader S.S. Ahluwalia said the country’s population has grown manifold since Independence. “The caste criterion in the census can be considered by the government,” he said.