KARNATAKA

Siddaramaiah promises the release of Caste census if Congress comes to power in Karnataka

Published : October 04, 2021 16:19 IST

Siddaramaiah, Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly. Photo: K. Murali Kumar

The Social and Educational Survey, which is now commonly referred to as the “Caste Census”, was conducted in 2015 when Siddaramaiah was the Chief Minister in spite of opposition from the dominant caste groups in Karnataka.

Speaking at an event on October 3, Siddaramaiah, former Karnataka Chief Minister and current Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, said that the data gathered under the Social and Educational Survey, which included the respondent’s caste, will be released if the Congress was voted back to power. The Social and Educational Survey, which is now commonly referred to as the “Caste Census”, was conducted in 2015 when Siddaramaiah was the Chief Minister in spite of opposition from the dominant caste groups in Karnataka.

The Karnataka State Commission for Backward Classes (KSCBC) conducted the mammoth exercise for which Rs.185 crore was sanctioned. After the survey was submitted, it has not been tabled in the Cabinet or the Legislative Assembly although certain leaked portions of the survey have pointed out that the percentage of dominant castes such as the Lingayats and Vokkaligas was not as high as was conventionally believed. Thus, while sections of the Dalits and Backward Classes have been demanding that the results of the survey, especially the true caste numbers, be revealed, there has been opposition to this move by Lingayat and Vokkaliga leadership.

Said Siddaramaiah: “The last time a caste census was conducted was in 1931. After that, no government conducted a caste census. My government conducted a caste census after we came to power in 2013 to ensure that the state’s benefits are apportioned correctly among different caste groups. But governments that came after ours, be it the tenures of [H.D.] Kumaraswamy, [B.S.] Yediyurappa or [Basavaraj] Bommai have not released the report of the caste census. They will never do so also but if Congress is voted back to power, we will accept the report and reveal its contents.”.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor