After Bihar caste census, Mayawati's ‘right solution’ advice to Centre

Oct 03, 2023 12:57 PM IST

Mayawati said the UP government should now improve its intentions and policies as per the public sentiments and expectations and start the caste census.

The caste-based census in Bihar is the first step towards ensuring the constitutional rights of other backward classes (OBCs), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said on Tuesday, demanding a similar exercise in Uttar Pradesh.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati.

"The findings of the caste census conducted by the Bihar government is in the news today and intense discussions are going on over it. Some parties are definitely uncomfortable with this, but for BSP, this is the first step in the long struggle for ensuring the constitutional rights of OBCs," she wrote on X.

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Demanding that the UP government commence the caste-based census immediately, she said the "right solution", however, would be that the BJP-led Central government conducts the exercise at the national level.

"Although the UP government should now improve its intentions and policies as per the public sentiments and expectations and start the caste census/survey immediately, the right solution will be found only when the central government conducts the caste census at the national level and gives them (OBCs) their due rights," she added.

Mayawati said her party was happy that India's politics was taking a new turn in favour of the neglected 'Bahujan Samaj'. She said the new development has rendered what she called "extreme anti-caste and anti-Mandal" sections, worried for their future.

Also read: Bihar caste census survey: 112 EBC castes under reserved category. See full list

The Nitish Kumar government in Bihar, on Monday, revealed the findings of the caste-based population survey months before the 2024 Parliamentary elections, drawing sharp reactions from the country's politicians.

Also read: ‘Opposition dividing society on caste lines’, says PM Modi as Bihar reveals caste census findings

According to the data, Bihar's total population stood at a little over 13.07 crore, out of which the Extremely Backward Classes (36 per cent) were the largest social segment followed by the Other Backward Classes (27.13 per cent).

Dalits, also known as the Scheduled Castes, accounted for 19.65 per cent of the total population in the state.

The Opposition block, INDIA, has welcomed the survey. RJD president Lalu Prasad, in a statement on Monday, declared that the Bihar survey has set the tone for a nationwide caste census". He vowed that the nationwide exercise would be undertaken after the INDIA block forms a government at the Centre after the 2024 general elections.

Also read: Mayawati urges SC to take note of political misuse of country’s name, ban it

The Congress has also welcomed the move and demanded that the Centre conduct a similar exercise.

"Out of 90 secretaries of the central government, only 3 are OBC, who handle only 5 per cent of India's budget. Therefore, it is important to know the caste statistics of India...," Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in a post in Hindi on X.

On the day the survey was made public, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Congress of attempting to divide society on caste lines.

"They (Congress) used to divide society on the basis of caste, even today they are doing the same thing," PM Modi said speaking at a public meeting in Madhya Pradesh's Gwalior.

The Nitish Kumar government ordered the caste-based consensus last year after the BJP government at the Centre refused to conduct the exercise.

A caste-based headcount was last undertaken in 1931.

Mayawati's regional rival, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has also demanded a similar exercise at the national level.

“Bihar caste-based census published: This is the mathematical basis of social justice. The caste census will not open a new path of 85-15 conflict but of cooperation and those who are not domineering but are supporters of everyone's rights, they support and welcome it. Those who really want to get the rights, get the caste census done. The BJP government should leave politics and conduct a nationwide caste census," he said on Monday.

With inputs from PTI, ANI

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