Allahabad HC Stays Move to Include 17 OBCs in SC List, Setback For Yogi Adityanath Govt

Allahabad HC Stays Move to Include 17 OBCs in SC List, Setback For Yogi Adityanath Govt

Allahabad HC Stays Move to Include 17 OBCs in SC List, Setback For Yogi Adityanath Govt 

New Delhi: Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh's plan to include 17 OBCs or Other Backward Classes in the list of Scheduled Castes so they can derive enhanced quota benefits was put on hold by the Allahabad High Court on Monday, in a setback to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister ahead of bypolls in the state.

The court acted on a petition by social activist Gorakh Prasad.

The state's BJP government, in June, had ordered scheduled caste certificates for OBCs like Kashyap, Rajbhar, Dhivar, Bind, Kumhar, Kahar, Kewat, Nishad, Bhar, Mallah, Prajapati, Dhimar, Batham, Turha, Godia, Manjhi and Machua.

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The move raised protests not just from rival parties but also was criticized by leaders within. Critics accused Yogi Adityanath of working to a political plan to win over these castes ahead of by-polls to 12 assembly seats and the 2022 UP polls.

The UP chief Minister's move was called "unconstitutional" by his own BJP colleague, Union Minister Thawarchand Gehlot, in parliament. "This is not proper," Mr Gehlot had said.

But Yogi Adityanath is not the only chief minister to attempt this. In 2005, the Samajwadi Party government of Mulayam Singh Yadav had passed an order to include 11 castes in the Scheduled Castes list but the order was kept on hold.

Later, the BSP government of Mayawati also cancelled such a notification, insisting that the quota for Scheduled Castes be increased before more castes are added.

Before the 2017 state election, then Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party cleared a new proposal but it was challenged in a petition being heard by the Allahabad High Court.

It is this confusion that has held back 32-year-old Vijay Nishad, a boatman from an OBC grouping, from getting too exited about the move.

Mr Nishad worked in the Konkan Railway as a contractual peon but was laid off. He says if he gets the Scheduled Caste quota now, the age limit for applying to a government job will increase as per norms.

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