Rashtriya Janata Dal chief and former chief minister of Bihar Lalu Prasad Yadav today called upon minorities, Dalits and OBCs to boycott the Census 2021 if the central government does not agree to include caste-based data in it. Taking to microblogging platform Twitter, Lalu said that Dalits, minorities and backward communities of the country should boycott the Census exercise altogether if castes are not counted.
“If castes are not counted in the 2021 Census, apart from Bihar, Dalits, minorities along with all the backward, EBC communities of the country can also boycott the Census. If Census data does not benefit the majority of the population, then what will we do with that Census of animal count?” said Lalu Yadav.
अगर 2021 जनगणना में जातियों की गणना नहीं होगी तो बिहार के अलावा देश के सभी पिछड़े-अतिपिछड़ों के साथ दलित और अल्पसंख्यक भी गणना का बहिष्कार कर सकते है।
जनगणना के जिन आँकड़ों से देश की बहुसंख्यक आबादी का भला नहीं होता हो तो फिर जानवरों की गणना वाले आँकड़ों का क्या हम अचार डालेंगे?
— Lalu Prasad Yadav (@laluprasadrjd) August 11, 2021
Bihar opposition leader and MLA Tejashwi Yadav has demanded that a caste-based Census be carried out in Bihar, a call that has resonated with friends-turned-foe Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar and an ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the state. The Bihar Assembly has twice passed a resolution and had sent it to the Centre with this regard. However, the Modi government has categorically refused to undertake a caste-based Census.
Speaking to reporters late last month, Tejashwi Yadav said, “When trees, animals, vehicles and all Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes can be counted in this country, why does the BJP hate the OBC category people so much that it’s cutting them off from the Census?”
जब इस देश में पेड़ों, पशुओं, गाड़ियों और सभी अनुसूचित जाति व जनजाति के लोगों की गिनती हो सकती है तो भाजपा को OBC वर्ग के लोगों से क्यों इतनी घृणा है कि जनगणना में उनकी गिनती से कन्नी काटा जा रहा है?
केंद्र सरकार पिछड़े वर्ग के लोगों की गिनती भी करवाए और आँकड़े सार्वजनिक भी करे! pic.twitter.com/UBG542iOhU
— Rashtriya Janata Dal (@RJDforIndia) July 30, 2021
“The central government should get the backward class people counted in the census and make the data public too,” said Tejashwi Yadav.
CM Nitish Kumar has already sought an appointment with PM Narendra Modi to discuss the issue. Kumar has also hinted that if the Centre doesn’t agree to the state’s demand, it may start a discussion on carrying out the exercise at the state level. Besides Bihar, states like Maharashtra and Odisha have also urged the Centre to carry out a caste-based census.
The Congress has also cornered the government over the issue by asking that why the government is running away from a caste-based census when even a woman BJP MP has demanded the same in the Lok Sabha. A caste-based census is required to assess the exact ground situation because in at least 30 states and Union territories, the reservation for backward classes has crossed the upper limit, the opposition party said.