As debates and demands over the need of a caste-based census continue with the Centre so far denying the need of it, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Sanghamitra Maurya on Tuesday, 10 August, too, echoed the demand of such an enumeration.
Accusing the Congress of not doing justice to the community while the party was in power, Maurya said that "even cattle have been counted in several states."
"We know how many cattle are in each district and the number of animals in the districts. But backward classes have never been counted," she said in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
"The backward classes and people of our castes, classes, and society, become the focus only ahead of the elections. In the future, I am sure we will not just be a matter of discussion during elections but will be the focus of everyone,” she added.
"Post-independence, no caste census was conducted under the Congress. The last such census was done in 1931. This demand for caste census has been there for a long time. It will benefit the OBCs and a caste census should take place, indeed," Maurya told ANI on Wednesday.
Maurya is the daughter of prominent EBC leader and current UP Minister Swami Prasad Maurya, who had left the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and joined the BJP in 2016. She is an MP from the Budaun constituency.
NDA Allies Echo Demands for Caste-Based Census
Along with Maurya, NDA allies, such as Janata Dal United (JDU) and Apna Dal, have also echoed their demands for a caste-based census.
JDU president Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan, as quoted by The Hindu, said: "In the 2022 census, you should get the caste census conducted. It has not been done since 1929 and the OBCs have not got full justice.” He had also led a delegation to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah last week to demand for a caste-based census.
JDU supremo and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, too, has been backing the demand for a caste-based census.
Union Minister and Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel reportedly said that such an enumeration was necessary to ensure "representation proportional to the population for backward classes".
Other than the NDA allies, the BSP, Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) have also backed the need for a caste-based census.
Centre's Stand on Caste-Based Census
The Centre during the Mosoon session of the Parliament had said that the government had, as a matter of policy, decided not to enumerate caste wise population in the census.
"The governments of Maharashtra and Odisha have requested to collect caste details in the forthcoming census. The Government of India has decided as a matter of policy not to enumerate caste-wise populations other than SCs and STs in the census," MoS Home Nityanand Rai had said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha on 20 July to a question asked to the Home Ministry.