Cabinet debate on caste census was about next exercise: Farooq
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, May 5: Union Minister Farooq Abdullah today said the debate in the Union Cabinet over the issue of caste-based census was about the next census and not the ongoing exercise.
“There is no question of division (in the cabinet)... The census has already started. So, it is not possible to do it in this census... I don’t think it is possible this time to introduce this. If it had to be done for this census, this discussion should have been held earlier,” he told reporters outside Parliament.
The Minister was asked if there were any division in the Cabinet over caste-based census.
The New and Renewable Energy Minister said even if the caste-based census has to done next time, a debate should be there to see what will be the “right way to go about it and how to do it as it is important for us to know what is their (OBCs’) basic population.”
Noting that all “pros and cons” of the issue will have to be discussed, Abdullah said, “Now that it has been brought up now, the Cabinet and Prime Minister felt it needs more discussion and only then a vital issue can be taken up because this was discontinued after 1931.”
Commenting on the recent infiltration attempts by militants from across the border, the Minister said, “We keep telling them (Pakistan) to stop infiltration... This is turning to be a serious issue because if we want friendship, this should be stopped because then nobody in the country will take our friendship initiatives seriously or whether we should be friends with them.”
The issue, which was discussed in the cabinet meeting yesterday, saw many ministers favouring inclusion of caste data in the census. However, there was a feeling against carrying out the exercise at this stage as the enumeration of the population has already begun since April one.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 May 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 May 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 6 May 2010 00:00:00 IST
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