Nitish Kumar to meet PM Modi on August 23 to discuss caste-based census demand

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Updated: August 19, 2021 1:07 PM

Nitish had on August 3 written a letter to PM Modi seeking his appointment to discuss the demand of caste-based census across the country.

Nitish had on August 3 written a letter to PM Modi seeking his appointment to discuss the demand of caste-based census across the country.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday said that he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 23 (Monday) to discuss the issue of conducting a caste-based census in the country.

“I had sought an appointment with the honourable prime minister to meet him along with a delegation from Bihar to conduct the caste-based census. I thank him for giving us time on August 23,” he said in a tweet.

Kumar had on August 3 written a letter to PM Modi seeking his appointment to discuss the demand of caste-based census across the country.

“I had sent my letter to the PM on August 3. That letter was received in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on August 4. The PMO sent a letter to us on August 13, acknowledging that it has received my letter, the respectable prime minister will give an appointment when he will think it proper. This this issue is not clear, I will not say anything on the issue of caste-census… I am waiting for his appointment,” he had said then

On Monday, the Bihar chief minister had said that he had been advocating the need for caste-based census across the country for a long time. “It was done separately between 2011-13, but the report did not come out. We want it to be with the Census at least once to have a clear picture, as it will help in planning and policy-making for they weaker sections,” he said.

Giving a cold shoulder to the growing clamour for a caste-based census from allies as well as the Opposition, the BJP has firmly stated in the Parliament’s recently concluded Monsoon Session that it will not undertake a caste-based survey as a policy matter.

The demands for a caste-based census from NDA allies Janata Dal (United) and Apna Dal, apart from regional parties, have grown following the passage of the Constitution 127A Amendment Bill, 2021, which restores the power of states to identify Other Backward Classes that are socially and economically backward.

After the passage of the OBC Bill, Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) supremo Nitish Kumar and his predecessor Jitan Ram Manjhi have separately demanded a caste-based census. Weeks ago, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale too had raised the same demand.

Besides, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have also demanded that a caste-based census be conducted as part of the delayed Census 2021.

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