Playing the caste card ahead of Assembly elections, the Akhilesh Yadav government on Thursday gave its assent to include 17 Other Backward Castes in the Scheduled Castes (SC) list.
A Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav this morning cleared the proposal in this regard, officials said. The proposal, considered to be aimed at wooing the OBCs in the coming elections, will now be sent to the Centre for clearance, they said.
The 17 sub-castes which the government wants included in the SC category are Kahar, Kashyap, Kewat, Nishad, Bind, Bhar, Prajapati, Rajbhar, Batham, Gaur, Tura, Majhi, Mallah, Kumhar, Dheemar and Machua.
Terming the Akhilesh Yadav government’s decision as a ‘mere drama’, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo and Yadav’s archrival Mayawati said the decision is both ‘unfortunate and condemnable’ and aimed at deceiving these communities.
“After having neglected all the backward castes barring one in the past five years of its rule, the SP government is out to mislead them in the same vein as was done by the then Mulayam Singh Yadav government,” she said in a statement.
Mayawati said that the power to include the OBC in SC list rest with the centre and not with the state government or the assembly. She said that cabinet approval means that the OBC people will neither get the reservation benefits under their parent category nor in the SC.
Earlier in March 2013, the Uttar Pradesh Assembly had passed a resolution asking the Centre to include 17 castes of the state into the list of Scheduled Castes (SC) category.