Telangana Assembly passes resolution for caste survey

Telangana |  IANS  | Published : Sat, Feb 17, 2024, 11:21 AM

Hyderabad, Feb ((IANS) The Telangana State Legislative Assembly on Friday passed a resolution for conducting a caste survey, with comprehensive door-to-door household survey with a special focus on the backward classes.

The government said the exercise will be aimed at assessing social, economic, educational, employment, political and caste status of the people.

The resolution was passed after a marathon debate during which the opposition parties suggested that a Bill be passed instead of a resolution.

The Congress government, however, ruled out the need for legislation.

“The House resolves to take up comprehensive door-to-door household survey (socio, economic, educational, employment, political and caste survey of entire Telangana so as to plan and implement various socio, economic, educational, employment and political opportunities for the amelioration of socially and educationally backward classes of citizens and SC and ST mandated under Clause (4) and (5) of Article 15, Clause (4) of Article 16, Articles 38 and 39, Clause (6) of Article 243D and Clause (6) of Article 243T of the Indian Constitution,” reads the resolution tabled by backward classes welfare minister Ponnam Prabhakar.

Intervening in the debate, Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy alleged that members of the opposition Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) are trying to create doubts among the people on the government’s resolve to conduct a comprehensive survey.

He said that the resolution for the conduct of the survey was introduced after elaborate discussion in the State Cabinet over the modalities that should be adopted for it.

He said the government decided to conduct the survey for implementation of schemes for empowering the backward classes in a scientific manner. The survey will also help in ensuring availability of adequate funds and opportunities to backward classes, who constitute 50 per cent of the population.

He assured the opposition parties that the government is open to receiving their constructive suggestions.

The Chief Minister took a dig at the BRS, recalling that the previous government conducted a comprehensive household survey but the details of the survey were not made public. “One family used the data from the survey for political gains,” he alleged.

Replying to the debate, Minister Ponnam Prabhakar said that the government has decided to allocate Rs 150 crore for the caste survey and gave the assurance that if necessary more funds will be provided.

On the opposition demand for a Bill, he remarked that caste survey needs sincerity and not the Bill.

He told the House that the survey will be undertaken in a transparent manner. He also assured the House that the Government would take cooperation of all the stakeholders including political parties, backward classes leaders and experts for finalising the modalities for taking up the caste survey.

He said a meeting of the stakeholders would be convened shortly to seek suggestions relating to the mode of conduct of the survey.

Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka termed the resolution on caste survey a beginning and said this would pave the way for several other programmes assured by the Congress like BC sub-plan in the coming days. He said the Congress was committed to implementing its assurances to the people.

Members of opposition parties raised questions on the modalities to be adopted for caste survey. Members of BRS, BJP, AIMIM and the CPI sought details like the agency that will conduct the survey, the time-frame and legal backing.

Stressed the need for legal backing, BRS MLA K.T. Rama Rao recalled that similar exercise taken up in Bihar encountered legal hurdles. He suggested that the government enact a legislation for caste survey. He also mooted the idea of seeking judicial sanctity by constituting a committee headed by a High Court judge.

The BRS working president offered full support from BRS to a Bill for caste survey. He suggested that the session be extended by two days to pass a Bill.

BJP MLA Payal Shankar lamented that the political parties remembered backward classes only at the time of elections and wanted the government to call for an all-party meeting to explain the modalities.

AIMIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi questioned as to why the government has not tabled a Bill that would give statutory backing to the entire process. He wanted the government to table the details of a similar household survey conducted by the previous BRS government.

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