Ramdas Athawale demands capital punishment for those behind 9-year-old Dalit girl's rape and murder

By PTI

CHENNAI: Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale on Sunday said he favoured a caste based census to ascertain the exact population of various communities and stressed that the BJP-led government’s 10 percent reservation for the economically weaker section will not affect the existing reservation system.

Among an increasing chorus by various sections seeking enhanced reservation, a question has been raised about the ceiling for providing the quota, he said. “For instance Tamil Nadu has the highest proportion of reservation at 69 percent ensuring quota for various sections. There are many sections across the country who demand enhanced reservation,” the Minister noted.

On his visit to the metro, Athawale justified the Centre’s 10 percent quota for EWS and hinted that this would not affect those already enjoying the reservation. “Personally, I would favour a caste based census. But it is upto the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to decide,” the Republican Party of India (Athawale) chief told reporters.

On the DMK storming to power in the State after a decade, Athawale said Tamil Nadu people’s clear mandate to the DMK has to be accepted. “But during the next Assembly election, the people will vote the AIADMK-BJP combine to power. I request Chief Minister MK Stalinji to give land to the landless poor for free and also protect the Dalit community from atrocities,” the Union Minister said.

Recalling his recent visit to Kashmir, Athawale claimed the atmosphere in Kashmir has transformed for the better after the abrogation of Article 370 (on August 5, 2019) and the bifurcation into two Union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. “On the second anniversary, I noticed the Indian tricolour flying more prominently everywhere,” he said.