Udupi, Mar 8, 2017: Addressing media Kota Srinivas Poojary, MLC and BJP leader, has demanded that the State government release all the information of caste census by March 15 or admit that it had failed on the issue.
MLC Poojary said that about two years ago, the Siddaramaiah government had embarked on a caste census on the grounds that it wanted to know the true condition of various castes and to identify the weaker sections. Social Welfare Minister H. Anjaneya had then justified the census exercise saying that it would help the government to frame targeted welfare programmes.
The State government had spent Rs. 189 crore on the caste census exercise. Though the BJP had been pressing the government to release the caste census, the latter had been dragging its feet over it. From whatever information about the caste census had got leaked, the number of castes had risen from 800 to about 1,350. “While the number of people in castes can increase, how can the number of castes increase? It appeared that some castes had been created. The government should release the caste census to clear all the confusion or admit its failure on the issue,” he said. MLC Poojary said that nearly 13,000 below the poverty line (BPL) cards and Antyodaya cards had got blocked in Dakshina Kannada, while nearly 5,000 such cards had got blocked in Udupi district because they had not been linked to the Aadhaar cards. This was creating a lot of problem for the poor as they could not get essential commodities from the fair price shops.
The scheme for booking ration online too had not made much headway. Last month, the essential commodities were not available at the fair price shops till February 23. “What was the reason for this delay? The Food and Civil Supplies Minister U.T. Khader should give an explanation on all these issues,” Poojary said.
He said that though the Labour Department had Rs. 5,330 crore with it, it was spending Rs. 362 crore on welfare measures of the workers. When such a large amount of funds were at its disposal, the department should spend it for providing more facilities to the working classes instead of letting the funds to stay dormant.