BJP is indirectly adamant to get ongoing caste survey halted in Bihar: Lalan Singh | India News

PATNA: Hours after the Supreme Court agreed to give an urgent hearing to a petition challenging the Bihar government’s notification for conducting the “caste census”, state’s ruling JD(U) on Wednesday alleged that its former ally BJP is indirectly adamant to get the ongoing “caste survey” in the state halted on the pretext of the apex court.
The petition has been filed by one Akhilesh Kumar, a social worker from Nalanda district, contending that the decision to conduct “caste census” fell under the domain of the Union government. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud allowed a plea for listing of the matter on Friday.
The petition sought quashing of the notification issued by deputy secretary, government of Bihar, in connection with the “caste census” and to refrain the authorities concerned from conducting the exercise. “The state government by executive orders cannot conduct caste census in the absence of legislation on the subject. The impugned notification for caste census in the State of Bihar lacks statutory flavour and constitutional sanction,” the petition said.
While JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan Singh dared the BJP to ask the attorney general of India to plead against the petition in the Supreme Court, if the saffron party was in favour of the ongoing caste survey; its de facto leader and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said, “It is beyond my understanding why people are filing petition against the caste survey.”
“I do not understand what is in the sense of the petitioner. Caste survey is in the interest of all people, all sections of the society. We are collecting data related to the economic status of all people, irrespective of caste…. The people hailing from upper caste too have benefits from it. We have already supported quota for economically weaker sections among the upper castes. They have a 10% quota and we supported the EWS quota,” Nitish said while responding to media queries in Madhubani district on Wednesday.
On being asked whether the petition in the SC would have an adverse impact on the ongoing caste survey, Nitish said, “There is no meaning of such a petition. We are not conducting a ‘caste census’, we are doing a ‘caste-based survey.’ What is being undertaken in Bihar is a “ganana” (headcount) and not a “janganana” (census). The right to conduct ‘census’ is with the Central government.”
“When the work of caste survey is in progress in the state, the BJP through a conspiracy is indirectly adamant to get the survey halted on the pretext of the Supreme Court… If BJP is really in favour of the ongoing caste survey, it should ask attorney general of India to plead against the petition in the apex court, otherwise the saffron party’s double standard over the caste survey is known to all,” the JD(U) chief said in a series of tweets in Hindi on Wednesday.
“Now, the country has only one alternative – Barka Jhutha Party (BJP)- Mukt Bharat in 2024,” the Munger MP said in another tweet.
Reacting over the petition in the apex court, the RJD leader and deputy CM Tejashwi Prasad Yadav said the BJP was creating confusion about this step of public interest (caste survey) in order to bake its political bread. “Why BJP complaining of pain in its stomach when the grand alliance government is collecting data for caste surveys?” Tejashwi asked.
Echoing Nitish’s view, Tejashwi further said, “It is not a caste census but a caste-based survey. It will give data about the financial condition of people. Our aim is to know the ground reality. The resolution to conduct the survey was unanimously passed in the Assembly by all parties including BJP.
Reacting over the JD(U) president’s allegation, BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said, “JD(U) wants to use ‘caste census’ as a Pandora box against BJP but that is not going to help them. The resolution in Bihar Assembly as well as in the all-party meeting BJP stood by the state government and more so ever it is the collective decision of the NDA Government. Lalan Singh has an anti- reservationist past and he has no right to give sermons on either social justice or the caste census issue. The Bihar government is confused over the modalities, methods and practices applied for the caste census but surprisingly, they are shifting the onus on BJP. They are doing it in a very hidden or secret manner. Why not they are counting all the sub- castes within every caste to make it more extensive or comprehensive.”

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