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PM, Sonia Deliberate On Caste In Census

With the issue of inclusion of caste in the census dividing the party and the government, Congress top brass, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi deliberated on the ticklish matter. The
PTI May 28, 2010 22:15 IST
PTI

With the issue of inclusion of caste in the census dividing the party and the government, Congress top brass, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi deliberated on the ticklish matter.

The party Core Group which held parleys for nearly 100 minutes met on a day when a train accident allegedly caused by the Naxalites, raised fresh alarm over the growing threat posed by them.Apart from Singh and Gandhi, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram and Defence Minister A K Antony attended the meeting.

The meeting came a day after Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Maken created a flutter in the party by writing a letter to young MPs criticising the inclusion of caste in the census.

There has been so far no indication of any meeting of the Congress Working Committee being planned to discuss the inclusion of caste in census enumeration or the Maoist threat.  Meanwhile, Congress sources said there was a need to define the stand of the party on the issue of caste in the census in the wake of divergent views being expressed by leaders.

While Law Minister M Veerappa Moily, a backward class leader from Karnataka has openly supported the inclusion of caste in census, his ministerial colleague Ajay Maken, who comes from an upper caste, has strongly opposed the exercise.  Another section of the party has been alleging that certain senior leaders have been instrumental in ensuring that the issue gets centrestage for furthering their own political agenda. PTI