'Public debate on caste census report must', says former CM Bommai

Bengaluru, Mar 1 (IANS): Former Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai urged the state government to clarify whether the socio-economic and education survey report, commonly known as the caste census report, which was received by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Bengaluru was the Kantharaj report or Jayprakash Hegde report, adding that there must be a public debate held on the report.

He told reporters here on Thursday that the order issued to the then Backward Classes Commission Chairman Kantharaj was not for the caste census.

"Since it was the polling time, the then Chief Minister Siddaramaiah refused to accept it (caste census report). Besides, four to five petitions have been pending before the Supreme Court about who should conduct the caste census," Bommai said.

"In the current report, some sub-castes have been separated from the main castes and it was vice-versa in the case of other castes. The state government must clarify it's stand on the report. There must be a public debate on the report. The BJP was not against the backward classes but justice must be done to all based on the population. The report must not be used for politics in the coming Lok Sabha polls," he added.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday accepted the controversial caste census report.

The Congress-led government's decision is likely to trigger a controversy in Karnataka ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Chairman of the Karnataka State Commission for Backward Classes, K. Jayaprakash Hegde, submitted the report to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at his office in Vidhana Soudha on Thursday.




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Title: 'Public debate on caste census report must', says former CM Bommai

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