Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday said he along with representatives of all the parties in the state will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 23 to discuss the issue of a caste-based census.
Tejashwi Yadav, the leader of opposition in the state assembly, will be part of the delegation, Kumar said.
I had sought an appointment with the PM to meet him along with an all-party delegation from Bihar, including RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, to discuss the issue of a caste-based census. I thank him for giving us time next Monday at 11 am,” the CM told reporters here.
The caste-based census will benefit all sections of the society and facilitate more effective governance, he said.
Kumar had on August 3 written to PM Modi, seeking his appointment to discuss the demand for a caste-based census.
Leaders of the five-party opposition Grand Alliance, led by Yadav, had met the CM over the issue recently.
Kumar, who is the de facto leader of the JD(U), had asserted that divergent stands adopted by his party and the BJP, which heads the Union government, on the issue would not affect the coalition.
Notably, the Centre had recently informed Parliament that it was thinking of holding a census only for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, triggering vehement demand in Bihar that the same must include OBCs who dominate the state’s politics.
Kumar had allayed fears that a census of all castes could lead to social tensions.
“When the legislature unanimously passed resolutions in support of a caste-based census on two occasions, members of all parties and from all castes and religions supported it. There should be no misgivings,” he had said.
The bicameral Bihar legislature had unanimously passed resolutions in favour of a caste-based census in 2019 and also in 2020.
Caste-based census other than for SCs and STs has not been undertaken in the country after 1931.
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