Nitish Feels Vindicated by SC Judgement on Caste Survey

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Nitish said: “Caste survey is being done to survey socio-economic status of people so that the government could work further on policies and programmes. There had been unnecessary hue and cry over it. All Bihar parties have supported it.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has called for nationwide caste census (File)

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to not entertaining pleas challenging the Bihar government’s caste survey in the state. The CM said the apex court’s decision only “vindicated” the state government’s decision to conduct the caste survey, which is underway. Tejashwi demanded that the Centre should now conduct a nationwide caste survey on the lines of Bihar government.Nitish said: “Caste survey is being done to survey socio-economic status of people so that the government could work further on policies and programmes. There had been unnecessary hue and cry over it. All Bihar parties have supported it.”Tejashwi said since the Supreme Court did not find any merit in the pleas challenging the caste survey, the Centre should “follow our example and conduct nationwide caste census”. “Unless a caste survey is not done, how can one know which segment of society needs to be given further support. The SC dismissing a bunch of pleas calling the survey discriminatory is a victory for us,” he said.BJP spokesperson Santosh Pathak also welcomed the SC decision saying the party has already backed it. “We have been in favour of caste census since the day it was presented in Assembly. We are of the view that caste should be studied in minorities also so that socially excluded ‘pasmandas can be accommodated in benefits which have to be distributed through this process of affirmative action,” Pathak said.At present, under the first phase of the caste survey, counting of houses and people is being done. The second phase, due to start in April, will enumerate caste, gender and religion of the people. The exercise will cost the state exchequer Rs 500 crore.

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