In an extraordinary development, the Centre’s Narendra Modi government on Tuesday bluntly told Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adityanath to not go ahead with its decision to include 17 communities belonging to OBCs in the Scheduled Castes (SC) list. The central government said that the move by the Yogi government was unconstitutional adding that only the Parliament could make such changes.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot said that this was not proper. He was responding to a question raised by BSP member Satish Chandra Misra during the Zero Hour.
Misra had said that under Article 341 sub clause (2) of the Constitution, the power to make changes in the SC list was the sole prerogative of the Parliament.
This was after the Yogi government instructed all district magistrates and commissioners on 24 June to issue caste certificates to 17 OBCs namely Kashyap, Rajbhar, Dhivar, Bind, Kumhar, Kahar, Kewat, Nishad, Bhar, Mallah, Prajapati, Dhimar, Batham, Turha, Godia, Manjhi and Machua. This decision by the Yogi government was taken ahead of the crucial by-polls for 12 assembly seats in the state.
Gehlot said that if the UP government was keen to go ahead with its 24 June order, it had to send the proposal to the Centre. “We would then consider it,” he was quoted by news agency PTI.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu too asked Gehlot to advise the BJP government of Uttar Pradesh to follow due process.
Gehlot, who is also the leader of the Upper House, said that shifting of one category to another caste category was the right of the Parliament. He said that similar proposals were sent to the Parliament in the past, but they were rejected.