Panel to examine splitting of OBCs

October 3, 2017:The Times of India

NEW DELHI: Former Delhi high court chief justice G Rohini has been appointed to head a commission to examine the proposal for sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes (OBCs), an issue with significant political ramifications. The commission’s members include J K Bajaj, director of the Centre for Policy Studies, Chennai.

On Monday, the President gave his nod to the panel, which will seek to ensure the most backward get the benefits of reservation.Two ex-officio members of the panel will be the director of Anthropological Survey of India and the registrar general and census commissioner of India.

The proposal for sub-categorisation is rooted in the complaints of ‘most backward castes’, that Mandal reservation benefits have been monopolised by some socially and economically stronger communities.

The proposal is likely to be received with mixed feelings by more dominant OBC groups, and has implications for Mandal parties like Lalu Prasad’s RJD and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s SP, which see Yadavs as significant political bases. The impact may be less adverse for a BJP ally like Nitish Kumar of JD(U), who draws on the Kurmi community but has backed schemes for lesser OBCs. BJP has made an outreach to most backward OBCs a key element of its political coalition building and the move paid dividends in UP, where it got the better of castebased parties like SP and BSP. An RJD-Nitish alliance foiled it in the Bihar elections but the latter has since switched sides.

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