Demands for scientific caste census must be considered: Shivakumar

The statement assumes importance against the backdrop of Siddaramaiah preparing to accept the controversial caste report.

Bengaluru: Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D. K. Shivakumar on Wednesday stated that he stands by the party’s line on caste census but the demand of various communities for a scientific approach to it must be considered.

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The statement assumes importance against the backdrop of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah preparing to accept the controversial caste report.

As per sources, the move will also lead to internal fights in the ruling Congress.

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Shivakumar had also given his signature to the memorandum submitted in this regard that the present caste census report should not be accepted.

Asked whether he supports rejection of caste census by the Congress government, Shivakumar replied, “The party’s stand is to give social justice through the caste census. But, there is demand from different communities for conducting the process on a scientific basis.”

“Many communities are fighting for proportional reservation. Scheduled castes, Panchamasalis, Veerashaivas and Vokkaligas are all fighting. These demands are cutting across party lines. However, certain communities have said that they have not been contacted before the census and hence are demanding for a scientific caste census,” Shivakumar explained.

On whether he had signed the petition on caste census which was sent to the Chief Minister, Shivakumar said, “Politicians from various communities have been rallying around this issue. Similarly, I have to wear the community hat and participate in apolitical meetings organized by the community. Is it wrong?”

CM Siddaramaiah had stated that he is firm on his stand that his decision to accept the Socio-Economic and Academic Survey known as the caste report, conducted during his previous tenure and provide justice to communities who had missed opportunities.

The State Backward Class Commission Chairman K. Jayaprakash Hegde had stated that he is contemplating to submit the report to the government on November 24.

Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities have openly opposed the caste report and started agitation demanding rejection of the report.

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