After Bihar, Demand For Caste Census In Maharashtra, NCP To Meet CM Uddhav Thackeray
Mumbai, 3rd June 2022: Amidst the ongoing discussions in Bihar, the demand for caste census has started rising in Maharashtra as well. It is reported that the Nationalist Congress Party, which is part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, is preparing to meet Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray regarding this demand. On the other hand, in Bihar, the caste census has been agreed upon in an all-party meeting led by CM Nitish Kumar.
On Thursday, the NCP raised the demand for a caste census to ascertain the social status of different communities. State Unit President and Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil told reporters that the NCP would appeal to CM Thackeray to convene an all-party meeting on the issue. He said that this decision has been taken in the meeting chaired by Sharad Pawar.
What is the current situation in Bihar?
The Bihar Council of Ministers on Thursday approved the caste-based census, allocating Rs. 500 crore for it and set February 23 as the deadline for completing the survey. After the meeting of the council of ministers held under the chairmanship of CM Kumar, Chief Secretary Amir Subhani told the journalists that the work would start as soon as the requisite notification is issued by the General Administration Department. He said, “the General Administration Department would be the nodal authority for the survey of castes and the notification would be issued at the earliest.”
Subhani added that this work would be completed by February 2023, and the district officers would act as nodal officers, who would be able to take service from the officers/ personnel of various departments at the village, panchayat and all other levels. The Caste-based census will also include an economic census.
The state government has started this exercise given the Centre’s inability to enumerate caste groups other than SCs and STs. Two unanimous resolutions were passed in 2018 and 2019 in favor of the caste census by both the houses of the Bihar Legislature. Nitish Kumar and the main opposition party RJD have argued that a new estimate of different social communities is necessary as the last caste census was conducted in 1921.