Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is "waiting for an appointment" to be granted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the issue of a caste-based census, he said on Monday, 16 August amid reports of the latter allegedly 'snubbing' him to discuss the issue.
"Prime Minister Office has informed us about receiving my letter. We're waiting for an appointment," Kumar told ANI on Monday.
One of the strongest NDA allies that has demanded a caste-based census even as the Centre has clarified its unwillingness for such an excercise, Kumar's comment comes just days after Bihar Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav said that the Prime Minister not granting an appointment to Kumar was an 'insult'.
Nitish's Letter To PM
Kumar on 5 August had said that he had requested to meet PM Modi over the issue of a census based on caste lines, but had received no response.
"My letter to the PM has been dispatched. Once he gives an appointment we will take the matter forward," he had said.
Kumar stressed that this appeal to the BJP government will not impact their alliance. He also said that his party will 'keep the option open' of conducting a state-specific caste-based census.
Insult of Bihar CM: Tejashwi Yadav
RJD leader Yadav on13 August, said that PM Modi had insulted Kumar by not meeting him to discuss the matter.
“The CM wrote to the PM on 4 August but has not yet been given time (by the PM). If he hasn't been granted time for a week now, somehow it is an insult of the CM,” Yadav had said.
Meanwhile, Yadav also tweeted the copy of a letter that he had written to PM Modi.
Several NDA allies and BJP leaders, along with Opposition paries, have demanded a caste-based census to get an estimate of people from the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) across the country. The Centre, however, has said that it will conduct such an exercise only for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.