New Delhi: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday (August 13) demanding a caste-based census. 

Further, Yadav, who is also Leader of Opposition, said that PM Modi has insulted Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar by not granting him time to meet. “CM Nitish Kumar had assured Opposition parties to seek a meeting with PM Modi over caste census. The CM wrote to the PM on August 4 but has yet not been given time. If he hasn’t been granted time for a week now, somehow it’s an insult of the CM,” Tejashwi Yadav was quoted as saying by ANI. 

Earlier on Friday, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav voiced demand for a caste-based census and said it is required for qualitative upliftment in the lives of people of backward and most backward castes.

The RJD chief took to Twitter and wrote, “Census can count various animals, birds and other species, but not the people of different backward and most backward castes. If the purpose of the census is the upliftment of the people, then how is it wrong to count thousands of castes and talk about the qualitative upliftment in the lives of the people of those castes?”

On August 7, RJD had staged a protest outside the party office in Patna demanding the implementation of a caste-based census. “RJD is supporting a democratic process. Through District Collectors, RJD is going to submit a memorandum to PM on introducing caste census,” RJD General Secretary Alok Mehta was quoted by the news agency. 

The debate around caste-based census was triggered during a discussion on the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2021 that was passed in the recently-concluded Monsoon session of Parliament. Several Opposition parties, as well as BJP allies, have demanded a caste-based census.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs had said in March that government has no proposal to release the caste data. 

(With agency inputs)

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