PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said there was no politics behind his demand for a nationwide caste-based census and his only aim was to serve the larger interests of the country by getting the headcount done. Nitish’s stand on the caste census is causing unease for BJP, which is his partner in Bihar, as the Centre had last month made it clear that it wanted to carry out the census only for the SCs and the STs.
Reiterating caste census has been one of the oldest demands of JD(U), Nitish said: “There is no political angle to the demand. It is completely a social concern. A caste census would benefit all communities.” Nitish’s statement came during a media interaction after he attended the weekly Junta Ke Darbar Me Mukhyamantri programme.Expressing hope that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would understand the gravity of the demand, Nitish said he has already sought an appointment with the prime minister to discuss the issue threadbare through his letter that reached the PMO on August 4.
Refuting concerns that the census would benefit only a particular section, Nitish said: “The census would not benefit any particular section, but the society at large. Such an exercise is a must to ensure even development.” Kumar insisted, “We must state before the Centre what we think and feel on the issue. It is for the Centre to decide whether to accept our contention or not. The last time a caste census was held was way back in 1931. A fresh exercise will help in bringing the fruits of good governance to the deprived.”