PM Modi will now look at it, says Tejashwi Yadav after meeting PM Modi regarding caste-based census

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RJD Tejashwi Prasad Yadav (File Photo)
RJD Tejashwi Prasad Yadav (File Photo)

New Delhi [India], August 23 (ANI): After meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, leader of Opposition in Bihar Legislative Assembly Tejashwi Yadav on Monday said the prime minister would be looking into the matter of caste-based census and the delegation is waiting for his decision about the same.

"PM Modi conveyed that he will look into it. We will wait for whatever his decision is going to be," Tejashwi said.

Today, a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the delegation of 10 parties led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to discuss a caste-based census was held in Delhi.

Besides Bihar Chief Minister and RJD's Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, other members of the delegation include JD(U) leader Vijay Kumar Choudhary, who is also the minister for education and parliamentary affairs, former Chief Minister and President of Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) Jitan Ram Manjhi, Congress legislature party leader Ajeet Sharma and BJP leader and Bihar minister Janak Ram, CPI-ML legislature party leader Mahboob Alam, Akhtarul Imam of AIMIM, Mukesh Sahni of VIP, Suryakant Paswan of CPI and Ajay Kumar of CPI(M).

Further, talking about the caste-based census, Tejashwi told ANI, "You need to have scientific data if you want the development to reach to the last person in society. When animals and trees are counted, why can't there be a caste-based census? There are no answers on this."

"We should know people of which caste are the most deprived; who are the beggars, what is their caste? Who are the people who pull rickshaw, or those who are landless?" he added.

Asked about coming along with the Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar, Tejashwi said it was done for the national interest. "I chose to rise above politics. We did what a progressive opposition should do," he said.

He also said he expects everyone (Opposition) to come along for this demand of a caste-based census like the parties in Bihar did.

Earlier, Tejashwi had said the caste-based census will help in preparing welfare schemes for people from different sections of society.

"Twice resolutions have been passed in Bihar Assembly for caste census in the state. With such a census we can get data that can help in preparing relevant benefit schemes for people from different sections of society," Yadav told media persons here.

Tejashwi Yadav had also written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the demand for a caste-based census. However, the Central government has so far refused to accede to the demand.

On July 20, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai had said: "The Government of India has decided as a matter of policy not to enumerate caste-wise populations other than SCs and STs in the census."

On March 10, 2021, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had clarified on caste-related details received from the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) 2011 to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. In a reply, the Union Home Ministry said that raw caste data has been provided to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) for the classification and categorisation of the data.

"The Office of the Registrar General, India had provided logistics and technical support in conducting the SECC-2011. The raw caste data has been provided to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE) for the classification and categorization of the data. As informed by MoSJE, there is no proposal to release the caste data at this stage," the Home Ministry had said. (ANI)

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