Nitish Kumar demands for caste census in Bihar

Nitish Kumar

Nitish Kumar

Except for the BJP, all parties in Bihar have asked that caste statistics be counted in the 2021 census.While the central government has so far refused to comply with the demand, certain BJP politicians, notably Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi, have spoken out in support of the census.On Monday, a delegation of leaders from 10 political parties in Bihar met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi to discuss the issue of conducting a caste-based census.

The delegation included Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, RJD's Tejashwi Yadav, HAM's Jitan Ram Manjhi, and VIP's Mukesh Sahani.“The Prime Minister listened to all the members of the delegation. We urged the PM to take an appropriate decision on it and briefed him on how resolutions have been passed twice in the state Assembly on the caste census,” Nitish Kumar told reporters in Delhi.Following the meeting, Tejashwi said, “Our delegation met the PM today not only for caste census in the state (Bihar) but in the entire country. We are awaiting a decision on this now.”Except for the BJP, all parties in Bihar have asked that caste statistics be counted in the 2021 census.

While the central government has so far refused to comply with the demand, certain BJP politicians, notably Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi, have spoken out in support of the census.Nitish Kumar is leading an 11-member Bihar delegation to further explore this matter. This will also be the first time Nitish and Tejashwi have shared a stage together.During the debate over the Constitution Amendment Bill, which aimed to overturn a Supreme Court order and reinstate states' rights to form their own OBC lists, calls for a caste census and legislation to increase reservations above 50% revived.While the Supreme Court ruling fixing the 50 per cent ceiling is an argument against one of these demands, rejecting a caste census is fraught with political costs.The BJP has been caught between a rock and a hard place over the growing demand for a caste census. In an interview with The "Indian Express", Union Minister Bhupender Yadav stated that the government has yet to make a judgement on the matter.

Source: Indian Express

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