The Yogi Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party government has triggered a political storm in UP after the four-members social justice committee set up by the state government suggested that out of the total 27% quota earmarked for the Other Backward Class (OBC), only 7% should be allotted to the Yadavs and the Kurmis. The committee was formed to categorise various sub-castes within OBC in Uttar Pradesh.
As per the panel, the two castes were culturally, economically and politically influential. While Yadavs are the core supporters of the Samajwadi Party, the Kurmis form the crucial vote base for Apna Dal, a BJP ally in the state. The justice Raghvendra Kumar-led committee has categorised a total number 79 sub-castes within the OBC, the Times of India reported. The report submitted by the panel to the UP government has recommended most of the benefits for the More Backward Classes, including Lodh, Kushwaha and Teli, proposing 11% quota for them.
According to the 400-page report, the economic opportunities available to the More Backward Castes were just half of their population. Meanwhile, the Most Backward Castes such as Rajbhar, Ghosi and Qureshi (which belong to the Muslim community) should be given 9% reservation, the committee has recommended in its report. The report noted that these communities were either working in class III or class !V category jobs or were completely useless, TOI reported.
CM Adityanath had ordered the setting up of such a committee in June this year in order to assess the possibility of quota within the OBC. The setting of the committee appeared to be a move to consolidate the MBCs as means to challenge the grand alliance, mainly comprising the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party labelled the whole exercise as Adityanath’s method to “divide and rule” the state. SP spokesperson Sunil Singh Sajan said, “Our national president Akhilesh Yadav has been repeatedly asking for a fresh census to be conducted in order to give reservation as per the population of that caste. The BJP wants the OBCs to fight among themselves which will eventually help the party in the 2019 general elections.”
The report is expected to be tabled by Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief and BJP ally Om Prakash Rajbhar, who is Backward Welfare Minister of the statin the state assembly during the winter session.