Tue. May 21st, 2024

The publication of Bihar’s caste survey data on Thursday led to a heated exchange between the ruling coalition of Janata Dal United (JDU) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). While JDU leader and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD patriarch Lalu Prasad Yadav hailed the release of the survey report as “historic”, BJP leaders dismissed it as a mere “eyewash”.

In response to the publication, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed his appreciation for the survey team’s work and congratulated them on coinciding the release with Gandhi Jayanti. He stated that a meeting of the nine political parties in the Bihar Assembly, who had unanimously voted in favor of the survey, would be convened shortly to inform them about the findings. He also mentioned that the survey had provided economic information about various castes and that steps would be taken for the development of all communities based on this data.

The BJP was one of the nine parties that supported the caste survey exercise. RJD founder and former Chief Minister Lalu Yadav also welcomed the release of the survey report, stating that it had been completed despite the BJP’s alleged conspiracies and legal obstacles. He emphasized the importance of using these figures to provide representation and formulate policies for the development of deprived sections of society in proportion to their population. Additionally, he announced plans for conducting a caste census when the RJD forms the government in 2024.

Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, Lalu Yadav’s son, described the publication of the survey report as a significant milestone in a long-standing struggle. He highlighted that the survey presented not just caste-based numbers but also shed light on the socio-economic conditions of different communities. Tejashwi Yadav affirmed that the government would now prioritize all-round development based on this data. He also criticized the BJP for creating obstacles and commended Bihar for setting an example.

In contrast, BJP leaders expressed skepticism about the survey report. Union Minister Giriraj Singh dismissed it as a mere “eyewash” that would generate doubts among the public. State BJP chief Samrat Choudhary stated that the party would analyze the report in detail before sharing its opinion. He affirmed that the BJP had fully supported the survey and had initiated the work during its tenure in the Bihar government. Choudhary also mentioned that the party would provide an official response once they had studied the survey’s methodology and mechanism.

The findings of the caste-based survey are expected to fuel demands for increased reservation quotas for Other Backward Classes (OBCs), which is currently capped at 27%. According to the survey results, backward classes constitute about two-thirds of Bihar’s population. These findings will likely become a significant talking point in the upcoming general elections.

When asked about the need to increase reservations in line with the survey findings, the state BJP chief referred to the provisions introduced by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar for backward classes and subsequent reports such as the Mandal Commission and the Rohini Commission. He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had consistently ensured that these findings were thoroughly studied, and the government would take the necessary action.

The release of the Bihar caste survey report has undoubtedly sparked intense debates and discussions, with political parties offering varied responses and interpretations of the findings. These findings will likely have far-reaching implications for Bihar’s politics and policies, particularly in the context of social justice and representation for marginalized communities.

By admin