New Delhi: Eyeing support of backward castes, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party on Wednesday demanded Scheduled Caste (SC) status for 17 backward castes for their "socio-economic upliftment".
Seventeen backward castes including Kewat, Malha, Kumhar, Rajbhar in Uttar Pradesh should be included in the SC list as they are very poor, said SP chief Mulayam Singh outside Parliament.
"Their economic condition is deteriorating day by day and we are trying for the last 15 years to include them in the SC list. If they are included in the list they will be entitled to get certain benefits," said SP chief said.
Immediately after Mulyam`s statement, BSP supremo also sought SC status for backward castes.
"We have written to the Centre to include these 17 backward castes in the SC list which will benefit them economically," said Mayawati.
Both parties accused each other of not doing enough to make these castes included in the SC list.
While Mulayam said BSP is not supporting the move, Mayawati said SP did more damage to their cause by including them in the SC list at the state level which was challenged in the court.
"It was supposed to be done by the Centre and since SP government did it at the state level, it was challenged at the court. As a result these poor people were denied any benefit," she said.