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Congress discusses inclusion of caste in Census

The top brass of the Congress, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi, met here Monday night amid growing pressure to go in for inclusion of caste in Census.



New Delhi: The top brass of the Congress,
including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia
Gandhi, met here Monday night amid growing pressure to go in for
inclusion of caste in Census.

The Congress Core Group, headed by Gandhi, deliberated
on the issue with the deadline for giving the party view on
the ticklish issue already over.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, heading the GoM on
inclusion of caste in Census, earlier said almost all
political parties had given their views to the GoM which would
soon be meeting to deliberate on it.

Sidestepping a question whether the Congress has given
its views, he remarked, "I represent the Congress. I am not
out of the Congress."

This meant that the senior leader could be articulating
the Congress view before the GoM.

The Group had sought views of all political parties by
August 7. The main opposition BJP has already supported the
inclusion of caste in Census, a move being vociferously
advocated by parties like SP, RJD and JD(U).

The meeting of the Congress Core Group last Friday was
cancelled due to absence of party president Sonia Gandhi who
was in the US on a personal visit.

There have been differences in Congress over the issue
with party divided on caste lines with members from forward
castes opposing the move and backward castes favouring it.

The BJP, however, favoured the move despite reservations
expressed by the RSS.

In the Congress, AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh
and Law Minister M Veerappa Moily have favoured the move
openly while some others expressed reservations about
inclusion of caste in Census.

A view in the party is that the Congress would have to
go in for inclusion of caste in Census due to the
circumstances given the fact that the backward classes
are electorally significant.

Besides, the party strategists recall that Congress lost
ground heavily in the North in the wake of the Mandal
Commission report on reservation for backward classes and
does not want to have a repeat.

PTI

From Zee News

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