The Samajwadi Party government will soon send a recommendation to the Centre for inclusion of 17 OBCs in the list of Schedule Castes, Minister of State for Medical and Health Shankhlal Manjhi said on Thursday.
These castes are Kahar, Kashyap, Kewat, Machua, Mallah, Kewat, Nishad, Kumhar, Prajapati, Dhiver, Bind, Bhar, Rajbhar, Biyar, Batham, Gond and Tairaha.
“The SP government has always been supportive of the demand for SC status to these castes. In the previous SP regime, headed by Mulayam Singh, a recommendation from the state government was sent to the Centre, but it was later withdrawn by the Mayawati government. This recommendation will be sent again,” Manjhi said.
In December 2004, the state government had sent a recommendation to the Centre. Later, the government issued an order on October 10, 2005, giving the benefits of SCs to these castes. However, the order was struck down by the Allahabad High Court.
After the Mayawati government assumed office, it recalled the recommendation and wrote to the Prime Minister for giving SC benefits to these castes and also increase the SC quota by 8 per cent. In its election manifesto, the SP had promised to get these castes included in the SC list.
“We have formed a sub-committee of ministers headed by Social Welfare Minister Awadesh Prasad which has prepared its draft. It will be soon presented to the state government. Later it will presented before the state Cabinet which will again send its recommendation to the Centre,” said Manjhi, who is a member of the sub-committee.
The 17 castes roughly account for a population of 2 crore.