All-party meet on caste census likely this week: Nitish Kumar

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday announced that an all-party meet on the caste census could be held as early as this week.

An all-party meet on a caste census is tentatively scheduled for May 27, Kumar said.

The chief minister acted after RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav threatened to seize the campaign for caste census with a march to Delhi. Reports say Kumar immediately met with Yadav and shared a roadmap of a caste census in Bihar.

“We will call an all-party meeting to take everyone’s views on a caste-based census. Then the proposal will be presented before the state cabinet. We have spoken to some parties on conducting the meeting on 27 May but we are waiting for some parties to respond. After a final decision, the proposal will go to the cabinet and then we will start work,” Nitish Kumar told reporters.

The chief minister went on to say: “We have started talks with every party. Everyone is not on board. We are waiting for their response.”

Kumar’s ally BJP is opposed to a caste census, in principle. The Narendra Modi government has long stated that a caste-based census is a divisive exercise.

The deputy CM of Bihar, Tarkishor Prasad of the BJP, was noncommittal on whether the saffron party agreed with Nitish Kumar on the caste census.

“We will discuss it and consider various aspects,” Prasad said to reporters.