Union Minister demands Odisha govt to ensure reservation for OBCs, SEBCs

Bhubaneswar: A day after the State Cabinet passed a resolution to ask the Centre for socio-economic caste enumeration during the general census in 2021, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday requested the Odisha government to implement Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota in government jobs and educational institutions.

The Union Minister said the State government should ensure reservation for the OBCs in government jobs and educational institutions and for Social and Economically Backward Classes (SEBCs) in educational institutions in Odisha.

Citing the 1931 caste census and Articles 15(4) and 16(4) of the Indian Constitution, former Congress leader Srikant Jena also questioned why the Odisha government is not providing reservations as per the recommendations of the Mandal Commission.

He demanded reservation of the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and OBC in education and jobs.

Congress MP Ranjib Biswal alleged that the decision of the Cabinet is another plan to create divisions among people.

In his reaction, senior BJD MLA Debi Mishra said the State government has taken several measures to safeguard the interest of socially and economically backward groups. “As the State’s decision on quota is sub-judice, any concrete steps could not be taken. If the socio-cultural status data is collected properly, government schemes can be implemented accordingly,” the ruling party legislator.

(With agency inputs)

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