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HomeLatest NewsTamil Nadu assembly urges Centre to undertake caste census | India News

Tamil Nadu assembly urges Centre to undertake caste census | India News

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu assembly on Wednesday ‘unanimously’ passed a resolution demanding that the Union govt conduct a caste census. DMK allies, including Congress, VCK, CPI, CPM, MMK, and KMDK, backed the resolution, while PMK and BJP argued that the state govt has the authority to conduct the exercise. AIADMK members were absent as they have been suspended for the rest of the session.
The resolution moved by chief minister M K Stalin stated, “This House considers that caste-based population census is essential to formulate policies in order to ensure equal rights and equal opportunities in education, economy and employment to every citizen of India.This House, therefore, unanimously urges Union govt to immediately commence census work, which is due from the year 2021 along with caste-based population census, this time.”
The resolution was adopted by voice vote in the presence of two AIADMK MLAs loyal to former chief minister O Panneerselvam. Leader of the opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami, however, told reporters later that the state govt possessed the right to undertake a caste census.
Terming the claims that state govt could conduct the census under The Collection of Statistics Act (TCSA), 2008, as wrong, Stalin said the law facilitated the collection of statistics on socio-economic issues, but not on matters specified under the Union List. “Section 3 of the TCSA does not authorise the state govt to collect statistics relating to entries specified in the Union List in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution. Census subject comes under the Seventh Schedule. Section 32 of the TCSA clearly states that population data collected under the Census Act, 1958, cannot be collected (under it),” Stalin said.
PMK MLA R Arul argued that the state govt was delaying the process unnecessarily while BJP floor leader Nainar Nagendran said former Union home minister P Chidambaram himself had stated in 2011 that a caste census could be conducted by the state.
Intervening during the debate, law minister S Regupathy said court orders might invalidate caste census data gathered under The Collection of Statistics Act.

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