News Brief

35 Of 37 Castes Included By UPA In Central OBC List On West Bengal's Recommendation Were Muslims, NCBC Scrutinises After HC Order

Nishtha Anushree

May 26, 2024, 01:35 PM | Updated 04:07 PM IST

Mamata Banerjee (left) and Sonia Gandhi. (Naveen Jora/India Today Group/GettyImages) 
Mamata Banerjee (left) and Sonia Gandhi. (Naveen Jora/India Today Group/GettyImages) 
  • Calcutta High Court's order prompts OBC list scrutiny by NCBC.
  • After Calcutta High Court's order of canceling Other Backward Class (OBC) certificates of 77 castes including 75 from Muslim community, National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) is planning more such delisting.

    NCBC chairman Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said that it would be checked if any of these castes are same as those castes which were included in the Central OBC list by the UPA government before the 2014 elections.

    He pointed out that in 2011, the West Bengal government had recommended inclusion of 46 castes in the central OBC list. Of them, nine were rejected, while 37 were included in February 2014.

    "The government notified inclusion of 37 castes, including 35 belonging to Muslim community. Since these 37 castes are the only ones included from Bengal, we will examine the list now," Ahir told Economic Times.

    If it is found that any of these castes is that whose certificate has been canceled by the Calcutta High Court, the NCBC will recommend the social justice ministry to remove it from the Centre OBC list as well.

    Earlier too, the NCBC had called out Rohingya and Bangladeshi illegal immigrants getting OBC certificates in West Bengal. It had sought additional data from the Mamata Banerjee-led government.

    "The number of castes of Muslim communities being added by West Bengal is mind boggling. I have observed even during hearings whether it is Bengal or Bangladesh. This practice may lead to real deserving castes not being included," Ahir said.

    Last month, the NCB had also summoned Karnataka's chief secretary over categorisation of the entire Muslim community as a backward caste.

    Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

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