In his latest snub to alliance partner the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Monday, 23 May, that his government would start working on a caste census soon after consulting all parties, thus supporting opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav's stand on the issue.
"We will call an all-party meeting to take everyone's views on a caste-based census. Then the proposal will be presented before the state cabinet," Kumar said while speaking to reporters.
He also added that a meeting on the issue was likely to take place this week. "We have spoken to some parties on conducting the meeting on 27 May but we are waiting for some parties to respond. After a final decision, the proposal will go to the cabinet and then we will start work."
He further said that talks with all parties had begun, but everyone was not on board.
Deputy CM from BJP Gives No Clear Answer Regarding Caste Census
Meanwhile, Deputy CM Tarkishor Prasad, from the BJP, did not give a clear answer when asked whether his party was in support of the caste census.
"We will discuss it and consider various aspects," Prasad said.
The Centre's position on the caste census has been that it would cause divisions in society. However, the Janata Dal (United) and the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal have maintained that a census along caste lines would help to implement policies to help the most downtrodden sections of society.
In a rare move, CM Kumar and the RJD's Yadav had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2021 to urge him to conduct a caste census.