Pranab to head GOM on caste in census issue

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, a known troubleshooter in the government, will head the Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted to go into the ticklish issue of inclusion of caste in census.

Updated: Jun 09, 2010, 21:42 PM IST

New Delhi: Finance Minister Pranab
Mukherjee, a known troubleshooter in the government, will head
the Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted to go into the
ticklish issue of inclusion of caste in census.

Other members of the panel include Mamata Banerjee,
Farooq Abdullah, M Veerappa Moilyu, S Jaipal Reddy, Sharad
Pawar and Kapil Sibal, government sources said.
The GoM has to take a `political decision` on whether
to include caste in the ongoing census operation, an issue
which had seen differences in the government.

The GoM will have to take an expeditious decision as the
second part of census was scheduled to begin in September,
they said.

Government had last month decided to set up the
GoM on the controversial issue after consensus eluded it at
two meetings of the Union Cabinet.

Several political parties, including Samajwadi Party,
RJD and JD(U), have been pressing for inclusion of caste in
the census.

The issue had figured prominently in the just-concluded
Budget Session of Parliament when the Prime Minister had
assured the members that government would take their views
into account before deciding on the matter.
Inclusion of caste in the census was last done in the
country in 1931.

PTI