Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Assembly today adopted a resolution to raise the ceiling for reservation beyond 50% and conduct a caste-based census in the State without the presence of members from the Opposition.
The resolution in this regard was moved by ST, SC Development, Minorities and Backward Class Minister Jagannath Saraka in the absence of Opposition.
Congress and BJP members had staged a walkout protesting against Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro’s denial to allow to hold a discussion on mining scam in the State.
The resolution adopted by the State Assembly said that the House resolves to ask the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes (OSCBC) to urge the Centre to increase the reservation ceiling beyond 50% in order to accommodate the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
The resolution empowered the OSCBC to ask the Government of India to conduct a caste-based census.
The Minister said that the resolution will be sent to the OSCBC for necessary action.
Clarifying the need for the resolution, Saraka said that the Odisha government was unable to implement several welfare schemes for the OBCs due to lack of proper data on the actual number of OBC people in the state.
He said that in view of the apex court’s order that the maximum quota should not cross 50%, the State government is unable to give proportionate reservation to OBCs.
Saraka pointed out that as the reservation for the STs in Odisha is fixed at 22.50 per cent according to their population ratio and SCs at 16.25 per cent, the OBCs are left with only 11.25 per cent of reservation though they are entitled to get 27 per cent of reservation.
He said that unless the upper limit of the quota is raised OBCs will be denied of proportionate reservation as per their population.
The Minister was of the view that a caste-based census was needed for the State government for launching welfare schemes for the OBCs.