MUMBAI: NCP president Sharad Pawar on Monday asked the Centre to undertake a caste-based census and relax the 50 per cent cap on reservations to ensure social justice.
Addressing a Press conference, Pawar said his party will build public opinion against the Central government on the issue.
The former Union minister also claimed that the Narendra Modi-led Central government misled people on the quota issue.
“The constitutional amendment of restoring the right of the states to prepare a list of OBCs, taken away two years ago, is a mere eyewash,” he said.
“Unless the 50 per cent cap is relaxed, the Maratha quota cannot be restored. Similarly, the empirical data on OBCs should be shared with the states.
“Unless the data is available, it cannot be known how much representation needs to be given to smaller castes,” he said.
Pawar said reservation in most of the states is above 60 per cent.
“Someone will have to show courage to speak in front of Modi. Deception is the only motive for the constitutional amendment,” he said.
On August 10, Lok Sabha passed a bill allowing states to decide who their Other Backward Classes (OBCs) are.
The 127th Constitution Amendment Act, 2021, restores the power of states to identify socially and educationally backward classes (SEBCs), usually called OBCs.
This bill was necessitated by the Supreme Court’s interpretations of some provisions in the 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act, which had inserted Article 338B and Article 342A (with two clauses) after Article 342.
Article 338B deals with the structure, duties and powers of the National Commission for Backward Classes, while Article 342A says that the president of India, in consultation with the governor, would specify the SEBCs.