Skip to main content
xYOU DESERVE INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL MEDIA. We want readers like you. Support independent critical media.

Bihar Committed to Caste ‘Survey’ After Supreme Court Setback

The Nitish Kumar government will likely make a law to conduct the caste census as a survey.
Bihar: Fresh Demands For Caste Census Haunts Alliance Partner BJP

File Photo

Patna: The Nitish Kumar government is committed to conducting a caste census which could be done as a survey  after the Supreme Court (SC) refused to lift the Patna High Court’s (HC) stay on it. The government will likely make a law to conduct the ‘survey’ sooner or later.

The RJD, a major ruling coalition ally, strongly favours the caste census. “The government will soon take a decision and complete the caste survey, which the HC stayed. The RJD fully supports it,” state party president Jagdanand Singh told Newsclick.

Similarly, JD(U) state president Umesh Kushwaha said that the government would have to do something to complete the caste survey.

“As a ruling party, the JD(U) is committed to conducting the caste survey. The government will decide given the courts’ stand to complete it,” Kushwaha told Newsclick adding that the “party respects and honours the orders of the SC and HC”.

JD(U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar, considered close to Kumar, told Newsclick that the government can make a law to complete the caste survey. “The government may take this course into consideration.”

He added that the government has informed the apex court that it was a socioeconomic survey to collect data to know the ground reality. A similar survey was completed in Karnataka and Telangana and a few other states are preparing to conduct similar surveys.

The former minister recalled that soon after the HC stayed the caste survey, “state finance minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary publicly stated that government would bring legislation to complete the caste survey”. Choudhary is widely seen as the CM’s close confidant.

The opposition BJP blamed the state government, particularly CM Kumar, for halting the survey. Senior BJP leader and former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi targeted Kumar for “failing to present the government’s proper view in the HC, resulting in the stay. “Since the beginning, Kumar has been doing everything to take the credit for conducting the survey. It was a wrong move,” he told the media.

Modi has reportedly demanded to call an all-party meeting to discuss the issue and decide whether to convene a special session of the Assembly.

Political watchers said that the BJP’s is politically compelled to take a stand in favour of the survey for public consumption. “If the BJP is so much keen on the survey now, why did the Centre decide not to go in for such an exercise countrywide two years ago? Even several top BJP leaders, including Union ministers, publicly opposed a caste census,” political commentator DM Diwakar told Newsclick.

Diwakar, former director of the AN Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Patna, added that if the state government is committed, it will complete the caste survey.

Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.

Subscribe Newsclick On Telegram