Yogi Adityanath’s caste certificate directive ‘unconstitutional’, Centre says matter in domain of Parliament



A day after the Uttar Pradesh government issued a directive to start the process of issuing Scheduled Caste (SC) certificates to 17 other backward classes (OBCs), the central government today called the move unconstitutional. Speaking in the Rajya Sabha today, Union minister Thawar Chand Gehlot said that the UP governments directive was unconstitutional and said the Centre has directed the UP government to stop issuing SC certificates. Gehlot also called the move not proper and said that including OBC in the SC list was in the Parliaments domain. Gehlot asked the state government to follow the correct procedures. The Yogi Adityanath government had issued a directive citing the 2017 observation by the Allahabad high court. The directive said that the SC certificates would be issued after thorough verification. The directive was issued by the Adityanath government just days ahead of the by-elections to 12 Assembly seats in the state. The 17 OBC castes that had been included in the Scheduled Caste list are Nishad, Bind, Mallah, Kewat, Kashyap, Bhar, Dhivar, Batham, Machua, Prajapati, Rajbhar, Kahar, Kumhar, Dhimar, Manjhi, Turaha and Gaudia. UP government said that these 17 castes ranked very low on economic and social indices and this move was aimed at uplifting them. They said that adding them to the SC list would help them avail quota and other government scheme benefits. The Opposition, Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), also tried to bring these 17 Most Backward Classes (MBC) in the ambit of the Scheduled Castes. The 17 MBCs constitute nearly 13% of the backward population in Uttar Pradesh and could make or break a canidates chances in the elections. The SP government led by Mulayam Singh Yadav had, in 2005, passed an order to include 11 of these castes in the SC list, but the move was stayed. The SP government of Akhilesh Yadav cleared the inclusion proposal ahead of the 2017 assembly elections but it was challenged in court where it is pending.

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