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Caste census final decision to be based on Pranab panel

By The Assam Tribune

New Delhi, June 9 (IANS): Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will head a Group of Ministers (GOM), which will examine the modalities of caste-based census and submit a report on which a final decision will be based.

The Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, referred the issue of caste-based headcount to a GoM in a meeting May 26. Besides Mukherjee, those ministers named to the committee are Defence Minister AK Antony, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee, Social Justice Minister Mukul Wasnik, New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah and Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, an official statement said on Tuesday.

The issue of caste-based census has seen dissent in the Cabinet on both the occasions it was brought up and also caused a rift in political parties. Sibal, Sharma and Gill had expressed doubt over the proposal of caste-based headcount in census 2011.

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