Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Friday, 6 July, said that her party will lend support to the Centre, both in Parliament as well as outside, if the government takes suitable measures to conduct a census of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
"BSP has been demanding census of OBCs in the country. If the central government takes a constructive step in this direction, BSP will definitely support it both inside and outside the Parliament," the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister tweeted.
The last caste-based census in the country was held in 1931, with every headcount conducted since Independence only recording persons from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Mayawati's statement comes a day after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar indicated that he had placed a request to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the proposed caste-based census.
Bihar CM Seeks Meeting with PM Modi
Bihar Chief Minister and de facto leader of the Janata Dal (United) Nitish Kumar on Thursday, 5 August, said that he had requested a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue of a census based on caste lines, but was yet to receive a response, NDTV reported.
Speaking to reporters, Kumar said, "My letter to the PM has been dispatched. Once he gives an appointment, we shall take the matter forward."
The central government had recently brought up the matter of caste-based census in the Parliament, saying that it was thinking of conducting the exercise for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
In Bihar, where Other Backward Castes (OBCs) dominate state politics, the Centre's stand caused an uproar.
The JD(U) leader also stressed that this appeal to the BJP government will not impact their nearly three-decade-long alliance, news agency PTI reported.
(With inputs from NDTV and PTI)