Bahujan Samaj Party President Mayawati on Monday slammed the Uttar Pradesh government's decision to include 17 Other Backward Castes (OBC) in the Scheduled Caste (SC) list as "unconstitutional and politically motivated".
Mayawati said the move will not bring any benefits for OBC groups and Yogi Adityanath had deceived them.
"No government can include or remove any caste from the Scheduled Caste list. Article 341 prevents a government from doing so. Only the President and Parliament have the powers to do so," she stated.
The BSP President further explained: "Part 1 of Article 341 clearly states that the President can specify any group to the SC list through a public notification on the Governor's advice. Part 2 says that if a notification is released under part 1 of Article 341, it can only be changed by Parliament. Part 2 also states that Parliament can specify, include or exclude any group from the SC list."
She pointed out that the notification cannot be undone by any other notification. "These castes will no longer get the benefits of quota under the OBC category. They will be treated as general castes. It is clear that Yogi government has issued this order to deceive these castes," she stated.
Mayawati also alleged that the order had been issued keeping in view the upcoming bypolls in the state and appealed to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to immediately withdraw it.
She urged the Centre to initiate the constitutional procedure to include these groups in the SC list and demanded an increase in the quota limit for them.
"I appeal to the Centre to include these castes in the category and increase SC quota proportionately as per constitutional procedure," she said.
In a decision taken on Friday, the Yogi Adityanath government had moved 17 OBCs in the SC list, thus fulfilling a long pending demand of these castes.
The OBCs added to the SC list are -- Nishad, Bind, Mallah, Kewat, Kashyap, Bhar, Dhivar, Batham, Machua, Prajapati, Rajbhar, Kahar, Potter, Dhimar, Manjhi, Tuhaha and Gaur.
The Chief Minister also directed all district officers to issue caste certificate to the families of those belonging to these castes.