New Delhi: The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government received a major jolt on Tuesday after the Centre declared as ‘unconstitutional’ the decision to issue Scheduled Caste (SC) certificates to 17 Most Backward Castes (MBCs) in the state.
The issue was raised in the Rajya Sabha by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP Satish Chandra Mishra who stated that the issuance of the reservation certificates to the 17 MBCs was an obstruction to Section 341 of the Constitution which says that no one can modify the Scheduled Caste list without presidential approval.
Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thawar Chand Gehlot said that he will ensure that the UP government adheres to the Centre’s order and takes back its decision to issue the certificates, which has been declared invalid.
The June 24 directive issued by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had reopened the political controversy relating to caste reservations which have been criticised by many, time and again.
BSP supremo Mayawati had earlier attacked the state government’s decision saying, “It is a big fraud. The members of these 17 castes will neither be able to receive benefits under 27% quota of the OBC.”
“They won’t receive the benefits of belonging to SC as no state govt can put them in or remove them from any of the categories through its orders,” she added.
Last week, the Uttar Pradesh government had issued a directive for 17 MBCs – Rajbhar, Kashyap, Kahar, Kewat, Nishad, Bhar, Mallah, Chivar, Bind, Kumhar, Prajapati, Dhimar, Bathum, Turha, Godia, Manjhi and Machua – to be included in the caste certificate list.
The Allahabad High Court in January 2017 had stayed the state government’s order to include the 17 backward castes in the Scheduled Caste list.
Further back in 2005, the then Samajwadi Party government had amended the UP Public Service Act, 1994, by including 17 OBC communities in the SC category list. However, their efforts proved futile as the power to make such amendments rests in the hands of the Centre.