BSP claims casteist bias against SC/STs in Census
The Times of India News Service, 20 February 2001
NEW DELHI: The BSP has termed the enumerating procedures in the ongoing Census as ``biased against the SC/STs'' and decided to raise the issue in Parliament during the budget session.
``The enumeration method is discriminating against the SC/ST people by insisting on their religious affiliation, and is a reflection of the ruling establishment's casteist mentality,'' BSP parliamentary party leader Mayawati told this newspaper here on Monday.
She said the only reason for adopting the tactics was to deprive the converted Dalits and tribals of their special status and deny them them the benefits of reservations. She felt that the ploy employed by the enumerators was reflective of the ruling BJP's ``concern to keep the underprivileged people within their own fold''.
``We will take it up with the government and raise it in a big way inParliament,'' she said. The BSP leader claimed a similar bias was evident in the relief operations in the quake-hit Gujarat. ``Though funds and relief materials have been rushed to Gujarat from every corner of the world, Backward classes, the SC/STs and the Muslims are being discriminated against because relief operations are being conducted by the RSS workers,'' she said.
Mayawati pointed out that in certain states only several castes among the Scheduled Castes were recognised by the Census, ensuring denial of the SC status to all other Dalits.
``The only purpose for adopting such a devious method is to reject our demand for an enhanced job quota in proportion to the increased SC/ST population,'' she said.
Speaking on the political situation in Uttar Pradesh, the BSP leader said her party was optimistic of winning two of the three assembly seats for which by-elections took place on Monday. ``We are going to wrest these seats from others,'' she said.