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Spectre of fake certificates among reasons why Mamata’s against caste census

Spectre of fake certificates among reasons why Mamata's against caste census

Kolkata, Sep 10 (SocialNews.XYZ) The closing day of the two-day Mumbai conclave of the opposition alliance, INDIA was to a great extent marked by the differences over endorsing the call for a caste-based census, which was proposed by Bihar chief minister and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar. It was vociferously opposed by his West Bengal counterpart and All India Trinamool Congress’ national president Mamata Banerjee.

It is perceived that this difference over endorsement of the caste census was one of the reasons why Mamata Banerjee and her party’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee had skipped the joint press conference at the end of the Mumbai conclave.


Why is the chief minister so sensitive about endorsing the caste census?

While the Trinamool Congress leaders here are maintaining silence over the matter claiming that it is only for the chief minister or the national general secretary to explain the party’s logic behind opposing the census, political observers and commentators see a couple of sound reasons behind this stand.

According to them, while the rising complaints about issuance of fake caste certificates in West Bengal which led to a major hullabaloo in the state during the recently concluded polls for the three-tier panchayat system is one of the prime reasons, another reason is the CM's lack of experience in caste-based politics, that had never been a dominant feature in the politics of West Bengal as it is in the cow belt.

Speaking to IANS, political analyst Subhasish Moitra said that one reason why Mamata Banerjee is vehemently opposed to the caste census might be the rising allegations of issuance of false caste certificates in the state. “Those allegations surfaced in a major way during the recently concluded polls for the three- tier panchayat system, where several lower-level bureaucrats were accused of issuing these fake caste certificates following instructions of the ruling party so that general category candidates can contest from reserved seats,” Moitra pointed out.

However, political columnist Amal Sarkar feels that charges of fake caste certificates is not the main reason behind Mamata Banerjee’s objection to caste politics. “Such allegations are there in every state. In some states where political parties thrive on mainly caste- based politics the irregularities on this count are probably much more than in West Bengal. This might be a reason but surely not the main reason for the chief minister’s opposition to a caste census."

According to him, caste-based politics had never been a major factor in West Bengal as it is in the cow belt. It is totally unknown to Mamata Banerjee unlike the JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar, RJD’s Lalu Prasad Yadav, Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav, BSP’s Mayawati and to an extent the DMK in Tamil Nadu.

“Remember, religion- based politics, whether nurturing or opposing it, has a somewhat straitjacket pattern. However, in caste-based politics there are too many crosscurrents. The prominent leaders from the cow belt and to an extent those from Tamil Nadu have long experience of navigating these crosscurrents and they mainly survive on caste- based politics. The same is not the case not just for Mamata Banerjee, but for leaders from all the political parties in West Bengal. So in my opinion Mamata Banerjee’s hesitation to step into this unknown territory is behind her resistance to a caste-based census,” Sarkar said.

Both Moitra and Sarkar feel that this issue of caste-based census might turn into a major point of discord between the constituents of the INDIA alliance in the coming days, with the Trinamool Congress’s distance from those favouring this census widening further.

Source: IANS

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Spectre of fake certificates among reasons why Mamata's against caste census

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