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Why Nitish Kumar’s Caste Survey Doesn’t Worry BJP

After an all-party meeting when Bihar CM Nitish Kumar announced a caste-based survey in the state, he appeared a bit triumphant. He could not conceal his happiness that he had driven a wedge between the state BJP and the Centre on the issue. The Centre had expressed its inability to conduct a caste census after the experience of socio-economic survey of 2011 census. He had the satisfaction that Bihar BJP leaders were fully backing the caste survey. Bihar BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal denied there was difference between the Centre and the state unit on the caste survey. “Let us get one thing clear: what the Bihar government is going to undertake is a caste survey, not a census. Census comes under the Seventh Schedule and that it falls within remit of the Centre. As for Caste survey, Bihar is not the only state to undertake such a survey. Telangana, Karnataka has already done it.” He pointed out that BJP’s support for the caste survey was incumbent on keeping out Rohingyas and Bangladeshi Muslims. Also keeping out certain Muslims from claiming OBC status. Politically, of course, it is seen that Nitish Kumar has pushed the caste survey idea because the Centre had introduced a quota for the economically weaker section. With the lines of social justice getting blurred among parties, the JDU has been desperately trying to push “contradictions” within the BJP and failing.