Patna: After hearing from all parties, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said today that his government would soon begin work on a caste census, after taking the views of all parties.
An all-party meeting on a caste census is likely to be held on May 27, he said.
“We will call an all-party meeting to take everyone’s views on a caste-based census. Then the proposal will be presented before the state cabinet. We have spoken to some parties about conducting the meeting on May 27, but we are waiting for some parties to respond. “After a final decision, the proposal will go to the cabinet and then we will start work,” the chief minister said.
“We have started talks with every party. Everyone is not on board. We are waiting for their response, “Nitish Kumar said.“
His deputy, Tarkishor Prasad of the BJP, who was at the same spot as the Chief Minister, was noncommittal to media questions on whether the BJP agreed with Nitish Kumar on the caste census.
“We will discuss it and consider various aspects,” Mr Prasad said.
The central government has long stated that a caste-based census is a troublesome exercise. But Bihar’s political parties argue that knowing the caste constitution of the population will lead to better policies to help the most neglected in society.
Last year, a delegation of Bihar politicians led by Nitish Kumar, along with RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to push for a caste census.
The last caste-based census took place in 1931, under the British Raj. That time Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha were one unit.