Bihar: Cabinet decision soon on caste-based count, says CM Nitish Kumar after multi-party meeting

New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar after chairing a multi-party meeting in Patna on Wednesday said a ‘caste-based count’ would soon take place in the state and information about it would be published in the public domain, ANI news agency reported. Nitish Kumar said that a Cabinet decision would soon be taken to undertake a socio-economic survey of all castes and communities in the state.

“During the meeting, we unanimously decided that a caste-based count will be done within a fixed period. Soon, a cabinet decision will be taken and it will be available in the public domain,” said Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, quoted by the news agency.

At the meeting, opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav represented the RJD while the BJP, which was reluctant to conduct a nationwide caste census, had among its representatives Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishor Prasad and the leader of the Sanjay Jailswal State Unit.

Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav stressed that “it is a caste-based survey, not a census” and suggested that social anthropologists should also be included in the exercise. He also said the investigation should be supported by the Union government.

“It’s a caste-based survey, not a census. This is our victory. Today we suggested (at the all party meeting) that social anthropologists should be included in this. The central government should support it financially. This investigation is for the benefit of the people of Bihar,” said Tejashwi Yadav.

The RJD leader further said that the survey could take place in the month of November at the time of Chhath puja when many natives of the state who live in different parts of the country would be in Bihar for the festival.

“We said to present the (bill) at the next cabinet meeting and start it in November. During Chhath puja, people who reside outside Bihar will also come to the state and by then we can complete the preparations,” he said.

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