PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said the demand for caste-based census was very much alive despite the Centre’s disinclination. He added he would keep the “option open” for a state-specific exercise on caste census if the Centre refuses to budge.“Our party has adopted a resolution supporting caste census in the country,” Kumar said, adding he plans to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to urge him to reconsider his position on the matter.
Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav had on July 30 during his meeting with Kumar in the Assembly, suggested that the state government conduct caste census from its own resources if the Centre refuses to yield.“Caste census is in the interest of all. But if someone is saying that there will be tension in the society due to caste census, then, I think, this is wrong. It will be beneficial for most works of developments,” Kumar said.
But what if the Centre refuses to budge? “We keep our option open,” Kumar said. “Nitish Kumar’s decisions on the caste census, the population policy and demand for probe into the Pegasus scandal are political messages against the BJP’s political dominance both in the state and the Centre. His meeting with Chautala as also the outreach to Tejashwi and others from the Opposition in Bihar on caste census are messages to the BJP ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha elections,” political experts opined.