Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday urged the Union government to enhance the reservation quota of Scheduled Castes and also undertake a caste census. Speaking in the Assembly, he demanded that the Union government should increase the SC quota beyond the existing 15% in view of changed dynamics. Replying to debate on Dalita Bandhu scheme launched by his government, he said that the population of SCs has increased since the enactment to provide them 15% reservation.
KCR, as Rao is popularly known, pointed out that contrary to general perception that Dalits are only 15% of the total population in Telangana, statistics show that they are 17.53%. He said in some districts, Dalits are more than 20% of the population. Mancherial district has the highest population of Dalits at 25.64%. He said out of 1.03 crore families in Telangana, nearly 18 lakh are Dalits.
The Chief Minister also urged the Union government to undertake a caste census. He announced that the Assembly will pass a resolution in this regard and send it to the Union government. KCR backed the suggestion of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Akbaruddin Owaisi for caste census and wondered why the government in New Delhi was not coming forward to undertake this.
"All kinds of nonsense is spoken in the absence of statistics. Unless you have the facts and figures, you can't make the proper plans for upliftment of any section," he said. KCR also pointed out that unlike other countries, India has no national identity card. "Even our neighbouring country Myanmar has issued identity cards. With great difficulty, we had Aadhaar but for some strange reasons, even this is not accepted as a national identity card," he said.
The Chief Minister also underlined the need for categorisation of SC reservation. He said he raised the issue many times during meetings with the Prime Minister and a resolution was passed in the Assembly and sent to the Union government. He advised BJP leaders of the state to make their government at the Union government accept this demand and offered to accord them a warm welcome and felicitate on their return from the national capital.