New Delhi: Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party today disrupted proceedings in Rajya Sabha demanding Centre's nod for inclusion of 17 Other Backward Castes of Uttar Pradesh in the Scheduled Caste list, an issue that led to the adjournment of the House till 2 pm.
SP, which had made the promise during UP Assembly polls last year, is pressing hard for it months before the general elections are scheduled in an apparent bid to shore up its vote base.
As soon as the House re-assembled at noon after an hour-long adjournment following uproar over various issues, members from the BSP and SP trooped into the Well shouting slogans in favour of the demand.
BSP members at the same time kept shouting slogans for dismissal of the SP government in the state over the death of children in Muzaffarnagar relief camps.
The effort for inclusion of 17 OBCs in the SC list was initiated way back in 2005, when the then SP government headed Mulayam Singh Yadav had amended the UP Public Services (Reservation for Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes and Other Backward Castes) Act, 1994, to include these Most Backward Castes in the SC category.
They include Banjara, Kahar, Kashyap, Kewat, Nishad, Bind, Bhar, Prajapati, Rajbhar, Batham, Gaur, Tura, Majhi, Mallah, Kumhar, Dheemar and Machhua.
However, the order was quashed by the Allahabad High Court.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh this year to take up the matter as the power to confer SC status on any caste rests with the Centre.
Both BSP and SP are vying with each other in the matter.
In 2008, Mayawati had sent a proposal to the Centre recommending their inclusion in the SC category.
At the same time, she had demanded amendment in the Constitution to pave way for expansion of the SC list.
"Their economic condition is deteriorating day by day and we are trying for the last 15 years to include them in the SC list. If they are included in the list they will be entitled to get certain benefits," SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav told reporters outside Parliament.
Immediately after Maulyam's statement, BSP supremo raised the same issue seeking SC status for these people.
"We have written to the Centre to include these 17 castes in the SC list which will benefit them economically," she said.