NEW DELHI: A day before the Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar-led all-party delegation from the state meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a caste-based census, BJP strongly endorsed the move for a caste-wise head count .
Senior BJP leader from Bihar and Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Modi said the party has always supported the caste-based census and will be part of the all-party delegation meeting the PM on Monday. “BJP has never been against caste census, that’s why we have been a part of the resolution passed in the legislative assembly and legislative council on this issue”, Sushil Modi tweeted in what was seen as a move to highlight the ruling party’s “in principle” agreement with the growing clamour for estimating the numerical strength of hundreds of castes
The statement of the former deputy CM of Bihar, follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi giving record representation to members of OBCs in his team and intervening to ensure promulgation of all India quota in medical courses.
Earlier, the party’s member of Lok Sabha from UP Sanghmitra Maurya had strongly supported the caste-based census while speaking on the 127th amendment bill restoring powers of the states to make their own OBC quota list.
Sushil Modi also recalled the statement of the then rural development, late Gopinath Munde in 2014 in Parliament where he had said that government could not accept findings of the Socio-Economic Caste Census as reliable because of the infirmities in data collected.
“At that time, on the instructions of the central government, when the Social Economic Caste survey was conducted by the ministries of rural development and urban development, crores of errors were found in it. The number of castes reached into the millions,”
Sushil Modi said that the report was not made public because of inacuracies.
The BJP leader said at the time of the last census of 1931 under the British Raj, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa were one. “The census of only 22 castes was done in the population of about 1 crore of Bihar at that time. Now after 90 years there has been a big difference in the economic, social, geographical and political conditions,” Modi said.
He said although there are many technical and practical difficulties in conducting caste census, yet BJP is in support of it in principle.
On August 10, BJP MP Sanghmitra Maurya, while participating in the 127th amendment bill, had made a strong pitch for caste census. The MP, who hails from a backward caste and whose father Swami Prasad Maurya is a minister in the Uttar Pradesh government, had said, “Even animals were counted earlier but not the backward castes. The BJP government is now doing it.”
Day before key meeting, BJP strongly backs caste census – Times of India