Demand to be on OBC list

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 18.04.07

Bhubaneswar, April 18: Members of Khandayat caste, the local equivalent of the Kshatriyas, and one of the dominant castes of the state comprising 22 per cent of its population, have demanded their inclusion in the OBC list.

Orissa Pachhuabarga Yuva Chhatra Sammukhya, which is spearheading the upper-caste reservation movement, demanded inclusion of the Khandayats in the OBC list during a hearing of the National Commission for the Backward Classes.

The commission headed by Justice S.R. Pandian today completed its two-day hearing of various groups and communities here today.

Khandayat are the martial castes of Orissa, the name being derived from the word Khanda, meaning a sword. They are mostly the Paiks, a caste formed by military service. Senior Congress leader and former Union minister K.C. Lenka and BJD legislator Ranendra Pratap Swain, both Khandayats, also supported the demand. “You should not take all Khandayat people as economically well off and socially advanced,” said Lenka.

Lenka said the R.K. Das Commission set up by the state government in the past, had held the Khandayats synonymous with the chasa (farmers), paika, agharia and kulta. Swain also demanded their inclusion in the central Backward Classes’ list. Justice Pandian heard the arguments and assured to consider the demand, officials in the state welfare department said.