Nitish government likely to conduct caste census on its own
Patna: Bihar's Nitish Kumar government is likely to conduct a caste-based census in the state on its own expense, say ruling Janata Dal-United leaders.
The leaders said that Nitish Kumar has a clear stand on this issue, and is waiting for the Centre's response on his proposal. If it refuses, he will activate "Plan B" for the state to conduct the exercise on its own.
Nitish Kumar on Wednesday wrote a letter to PM Narendra Modi, seeking an all-party meeting on this issue.
JD-U MP Sunil Kumar Pintu said: "We will welcome it if the Centre allows the Bihar government to conduct a caste-based census or with certain amendments. If the Centre refuses our proposal, in that case, Nitish Kumar has a clear stand to conduct the census at the state government's expense."
JD-U Parliamentary Board President Upendra Kushwaha said: "If a religion-based census is possible in the country, why is the Centre hesitating on a caste-based census."
"A section of people argue that caste-based census may allow social tension to develop between the communities in the country. I want to ask them that if religion-based census had not created division in the society as per their claim, how caste-based census can create differences in the society.
"Our Chief Minister Nitish Kumar advocated caste-based census to help people on the last levels. He is having support of opposition parties leaders in Bihar. Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav met the Chief Minister on this issue and demanded the same. Nitish Kumar also assured him and other political parties leaders to take time with Prime Minister for the issue. Nitish Kumar sent the letter to PM Narendra Modi in this regard," Kushwaha said.