File photo: BSP Supremo - Mayawati Prabhu Das. Photograph:( ANI )
'No government can either put or remove any caste from SC category. Article 341 of the constitution bars a government from doing so,' Mayawati said.
BSP chief Mayawati on Monday slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for its decision to put 17 castes into Scheduled Caste category and called the move "unconstitutional" and politically motivated.
"It is reported in a section of media that 17 cases have been removed from OBC category and put in SC category. Yogi Adityanath government has deceived them. They will not get the benefit from any of the categories," Mayawati told ANI.
"No government can either put or remove any caste from SC category. Article 341 of the constitution bars a government from doing so," she added.
The BSP supremo said that only the President and Parliament have powers to make any changes in the list.
Mayawati said, "Part one of Article 341 clearly states that the President can specify any group to SC category through a public notification on Governor`s advice. Part 2 of the Article says that if notification is released under part one of the Article, it can only be changed by Parliament. Part 2 states that Parliament can specify, include or exclude any group from SC category."
The rules state that the notification cannot be undone by any other notification, she said.
Stating that the move is against the law and the Constitution, she said, "These castes will no longer get the quota under OBC category. They will be treated as general caste. It is clear that Yogi government has issued this order to deceive these castes."
Mayawati alleged that the order has been issued keeping in view the upcoming by-polls in the state and appealed to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to immediately withdraw it.
She also urged the Centre to initiate the constitutional procedure to include these groups in the SC category and demanded an increase in the quota limit for them.
"I appeal the government to take the order back and the Centre to include these castes in the category and increase SC quota proportionately as per constitutional procedure," she concluded.
In a decision taken on Friday, UP government added 17 castes including Kashyap, Mallah, Kumhar, Rajbhar, Prajapati and others in the list of Scheduled Castes. It also directed all district officers to issue caste certificate to the families of those belonging to these castes.