Census in classes is complex.  Let States Do It First: K Laxman, President, OBC Morcha of BJP

Census in classes is complex. Let States Do It First: K Laxman, President, OBC Morcha of BJP – Mail Bonus

The demand for a list of people belonging to other conservative parties (OBC) is becoming a political hot potato for the BJP opposition. The party is determined to do so, but states should do it first, says K Laxman, BJP’s president OBC Morcha and former head of the party’s Telangana division. Edited excerpt from an interview with Prerna Katiyar:

It is almost seven years since BJP OBC Morcha was founded. What are its great achievements?

Since Narendra Modi became Prime Minister in 2014, he has been working on ways to promote and strengthen the OBC. There have been historic decisions, such as granting the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) constitutional status in 2018. This was done 23 years after the Mandal Commission’s recommendations were implemented. Until then, the commission was virtually toothless. It was hardly possible to give 14-15% notice out of 27% (OBC quota). There was no check on any ministry or institution. Now, with a constitutional status, recruitment has touched 22% in all government agencies in four years. In educational institutions, although the implementation process could begin in 2008, many were not implemented. This academic year, Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya pathshalas, law schools and Sainik schools have started to give notice. Almost four lakh students have already benefited.

Since Modi came to power, he has given 27% notice in NEET and about 4,000 students have benefited. There are 27 OBC ministers in the government for the first time since independence, which is 40%. Previously, the children of PSU employees were not given notice. They’re getting it now. Look at the rest: all over the country we have 42 central universities and there are hardly 10-12 OBC professors. The excuse was that there were no suitable candidates available. The remaining number was 9,000. So, our Morcha met (Minister of Education) Dharmendra Pradhan who has ordered that in one year all the remaining should be filled. In 3-4 months, 3,000 jobs have already been filled.

If OBCs have a 22% share in government jobs, what is the proportion in educational institutions?

It is very less – only 10-12%. We want strict implementation of 27% of quotas. NCBC members take suo moto action against some agencies. Had it been implemented in the last 10 years, lakhs of students would have benefited.

What about class counting? Why is there a delay in keeping it?

We have some technical problems, legal problems and limitations. There are many complications – in Bihar, Guptas are OBC while they are UP strikers. Brahmin Joshis is a striker in countries other than OBC in Uttarakhand. In Andhra Pradesh, the Reddys are ahead but are behind in Karnataka. Kammas continue in Andhra and backwards in Karnataka. So we took a stand that made the census go state-wide. Recently, the 127th Constitutional Amendment Bill was passed, giving states full power to identify which community is OBC as the Center is not aware of the status of one class across the country. We are not saying no, but it needs to be thoroughly researched before a national survey is conducted.

Can we expect that before 2024?

It needs a thorough investigation.

What is the status of the national survey?
Only 4-5 states have done so. Karnataka did so when Siddaramaiah was CM, but the results were not published because they found that more than 60% of the population is OBC. Telangana has done a survey but after knowing the reality they did not publish it. Now, Nitish Kumar keeps asking for it, but why can he not do it in Bihar?

A creamy review is also pending

The revenue limit was revised from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 8 lakh by this government. The review should be done soon.

There is a growing tendency to fill vacancies in governments and states by hiring contract staff. But it has no reservation provisions.

This is very unfortunate. Thus, we are denying the rights of the OBCs and the oppressed. This is done in countries where mainly regional parties are in power.

This should end. Last year, 50,000 jobs were hired in railways, of which 27% for OBCs. Special VC funding has now been created for OBCs. Modiji wants the country’s youth – whether backward, SC or forward – to be job-creating, not job-seeking. VC funding was tied to SCs during the parliamentary cabinet. Since 2019, we have earmarked Rs 200 million a year for OBCs.

A four-member committee chaired by Justice (retd) G Rohini was set up in 2017 to examine the subclassification of OBCs. When can the report be expected? It received its 12th extension in January 2022.

The results of the report should be available in a month or two. They were also confused about the status of one community in different countries. I’ve also discussed it with her.

How will BJP perform in the Telangana polls in 2023?

We did very well in the Lok Sabha polls and by-elections. We have been working to build the party in the state.

We are now an option to the parliament. In 2023, the BJP will form a government and the TRS will be transferred.

And will you be CM?

No, it’s the party that rules. We just want two-engine sarcas just like in UP, Uttarakhand and Goa so that the program center can run out.

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