Nitish stays mum on the Centre’s stand against Caste-based Census in the Supreme Court
A day after the Union government informed the Supreme Court that a caste-based Census is not feasible, ailing Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Friday called for a boycott of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Ministers and MPs belonging to Other Backward Classes (OBC) and Extremely Backward Classes (EBC).
Mr. Lalu Yadav tweeted in Hindi: “BJP/RSS are deceiving Backward/ Extremely Backward Class people in a big way. If the Central government cannot conduct a Census of over 60% people of the country just by adding an extra column in the Census form, then there should be a ban on such a government and on Ministers and MPs belonging to such classes. They should be boycotted.”
He also tweeted: “Snakes, scorpions, parrots, elephants, horses, dogs, cats, pigs, jackals and other animals, birds, trees can be counted but people belonging to Backward and Extremely Backwards Classes will not be counted. Great! Why do BJP/ RSS have so much hatred of Backward people? Caste Census will benefit all classes of people. The real picture of all (castes/classes) will come out.”
Mr. Lalu Yadav, who was recently released on bail in several fodder scam cases, has been recuperating at the residence of his elder daughter and RJD Rajya Sabha MP Misha Bharti in Delhi. For some time now, he has been demanding the data on castes from the 2011 Census be made public.
However, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who recently led a delegation of leaders from 10 political parties to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the demand for a caste-based Census, has remained silent on the Centre’s response on the issue in the Supreme Court. His party, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), which is in power in Bihar in an alliance with the BJP and two other smaller parties, too, has not commented. Earlier, after the meeting with Mr. Modi, Mr. Kumar often responded to questions from journalists on the topic that since the PM had not said anything yet on the issue, he could not comment on it. The Bihar Assembly has twice passed a resolution for a conducting caste-based Census.
“This is for our top party leaders to comment. I will not say anything on this,” a JD(U) leader and party spokesperson said.
In July 2021, the Union Minister of State for Home, Nityanand Rai, had said in Parliament that the Central government had decided there would be no caste-based Census, other than the enumeration of the population of Scheduled Castes and Tribes. After Mr. Rai’s statement in Parliament, Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly, RJD leader and Mr. Lalu Prasad’s son, Tejashwi Yadav, had urged the CM to call an all-party meeting and meet the PM on the issue, which was later done. “The Prime Minister listened with patience and now he will have to take a decision on the issue,” Mr. Kumar told media persons after that meeting.
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