Former High Court Judge to Head Panel to Study Caste Data in Tamil Nadu
Just last week, CM E Palaniswami had announced that a panel will study the data and present a report following its meeting with PMK leader A Ramadoss, whose party demands quotas for the Vanniyar community in government jobs and education.
Updated: December 7, 2020 4:04 PM IST
Tamil Nadu on Monday appointed retired high court judge A Kulasekaran to head a committee that would be set up to collect data on cases in the state.
This comes after Prime Minister Edappadi Palaniswami announced last week that a panel will study the data and present a report following his meeting with PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss. The PMK requires a 20% reserve for the Vanniyar community in government jobs and education.
One of PMK’s demands has been that the government set up a panel to examine the reserve beneficiaries of each caste, as it believes that only 4-6% of the Vanniyars have benefited. But the government panel is concerned only with forming a methodology for collecting quantifiable caste data. Palaniswami had previously said that this data will be useful for a pending Supreme Court case regarding the 69% reserve policy in Tamil Nadu.
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The PMK and its parent organization, Vanniyar Sangam, have revived this old demand ahead of the 2021 assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, where it is an ally of AIADMK. PMK workers from other districts reportedly indulged in violence and stopped traffic on the first day of their agitation on December 1, as the police did not allow them to enter Chennai. Similar upheavals were put to an end after the most backward category (CBM) was created in the late 1980s, in which the Vanniyars were among the 108 other caste groups that were included.
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