GUWAHATI, April 27 - Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale today said that he would press Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to give monetary assistance to those entering into inter-caste marriages.
The Union minister opined that inter-caste marriage could bring an end to the caste divide and promote harmony among different castes.
�I will write to the Chief Minister asking him to provide cash incentives to couples deciding to go for inter-caste marriage. Priority in government jobs for those entering into an inter-caste marriage is another incentive that can be thought of,� the Union minister said while addressing a press conference here today.
The Republican Party of India leader also said that the districts with the highest number of inter-caste marriages should also be rewarded.
�I am for the increase in the amount which is given by the Centre to those marrying outside the caste. I am for hiking the amount from the existing Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh,� the minister said.
�Although caste divide hardly exists in Assam, yet it can help strengthen the bonding among various castes,� he pointed out.
The minister also informed that he has demanded during a NDA meet that some forward castes in the country should also be provided reservation on the basis of their annual income without tinkering with the existing coverage of Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC).
He said that the present reservation of 49.5 per cent should be increased to 75 per cent so as to accommodate the economically backward classes from different States including Assam.
�Those earning an annual income of up to Rs 6 lakh from among the forward castes should be given reservation. For this, the reservations should be increased by another 25 per cent,� he added.