The Uttar Pradesh government led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has moved 17 castes which were earlier in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category to the Scheduled Castes (SC) list, reports The Hindu.
These new castes in the SC category in Uttar Pradesh are — Bind, Nishad, Kashyap, Mallah, Kewat, Bhar, Dhivar, Batham, Prajapati, Machua, Rajbhar, Dhimar, Pottar, Manjhi, Gaur, Tuhana and Kahar. Government officials have been asked to issue caste certificates to members of these communities as per their new category.
The demand by these communities to be moved to the SC category goes back at least 15 years, but attempts by previous governments had failed to add them to the SC list due to either resistance from the Centre or the judiciary.
The move may also boost the chances of candidates from the ruling BJP in upcoming by-elections 12 state assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh, as members of these communities are more likely to move their allegiance to the party in light of increased reservation benefits.