The Uttar Pradesh government is preparing a proposal for the Centre, asking it to pass a law in Parliament to include 17 sub-castes of Other Backward Classes into the Scheduled Castes list, The Indian Express reported on Thursday.
On August 31, the Allahabad High Court had quashed two government orders of the Adityanath administration that notified the inclusion of 18 such communities. The court held that only Parliament has the power to add new castes to any list.
On Tuesday, Uttar Pradesh Minister of Social Welfare Asim Arun and Minister of Fisheries Sanjay Nishad met Chief Minister Adityanath to discuss the list, The Indian Express reported.
“We are working on the proposal, which after due approval will be sent to the Centre seeking an amendment to the list of Scheduled Castes,” Arun said.
The 17 sub-castes among Other Backward Classes that the Uttar Pradesh government proposes to add to the Scheduled Castes list are Kahar, Kashyap, Kevat, Mallah, Nishad, Kumhar, Prajapati, Dheevar, Bind, Bhar, Rajbhar, Dhimar, Batham, Turha, Godia, Manjhi and Machhua.
They make up to 15% of the state’s population, according to the Uttar Pradesh Backward Classes Welfare Department.
These sub-castes make their livelihood from occupations such as fishing and pottery. If they get on the Scheduled Castes list, they will be able to avail more government benefits.
The Samajwadi Party government in December 2016 had first attempted to move the sub-castes to the Centre’s list. The Adityanath government had made a similar request in June 2019.