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Bihar Caste Census: All-party Meet on Tuesday; CM Nitish Hopes It Will Provide Impetus for Nationwide Data

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday expressed confidence that the caste survey conducted by his government, findings of which were released on Monday, will provide an impetus for a nationwide census of all social groups.

Kumar claimed that he had been raising the demand for a nationwide headcount of castes since 1989 when he first became a member of Parliament.

The JD(U) leader took potshots at the Narendra Modi government for failure to ”conduct even a normal census, which should have taken place in 2021 itself”.

“Tomorrow, at 3.30 pm, I will hold a meeting where a presentation on the findings of the survey will be made before representatives of all nine parties, which have a presence in the state legislature, and which had given the consent for the survey,” Kumar told reporters.

His government had ordered the mammoth exercise in June last year.

Kumar agreed with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s contention that, as the survey has established that OBCs, SCs and STs together account for 84 per cent of Bihar’s population, it is essential to know the caste data of the entire country.

The chief minister said, “Yes, the survey has provided an estimate of the population of all sections of the society, many of which were not counted during the census. It has also come out with a fresh estimate of the Scheduled Castes. We can see a slight increase in their population compared with a decade ago”.

He, however, ducked queries about whether the survey would prove to be “Mandal part 2”, triggering demands for revised quotas for different castes in proportion to their respective population, which may spell trouble for the “Hindutva” juggernaut of the BJP, which is seen as primarily pro-upper caste.

“It would not be proper for me to go into such details right now. Let me share the findings with all parties tomorrow. After that, our focus will be on making policies targeted at castes which may be deemed to be in need of greater assistance. I must add, the survey will benefit all castes, without exception,” asserted the longest-serving chief minister of the state.

He was also asked what he thought of the Modi government’s schemes like “Vishwakarma”, meant for artisans who primarily belong to the extremely backward classes.

“I do not care what schemes they are coming up with”, quipped Kumar, who had been a BJP ally till a year ago.

“I would like to ask why have they not considered recognising the extremely backward classes as a separate category. We did it in Bihar long back. The results are there for all to see. They seem to care for nobody, neither any caste group nor Hindus or Muslims as a whole”, said Kumar.

Notably, the EBCs, known as “ati picchra” in local parlance, have emerged as the largest social block in the survey, which puts their number at 4.71 crore, about 36.01 per cent of the state’s total population.

Divided into several politically disorganised small castes, the EBCs are known to have been among the most committed supporters of Kumar, who, incidentally, is a Kurmi, a relatively better-off OBC group which comprises only 2.87 per cent of the total population.

“I do not want to react, at present, to the takes of different political groups on this survey. But my position remains unchanged that the country needs a caste census, which was held for the last time in 1931. Bihar has set an example”, said Kumar.

He had led an all-party delegation a couple of years ago which met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to press the demand for a caste census.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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Lok Sabha Polls Will Be Dynastic Politics & Corruption Versus Development Fight: Nadda

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BJP national president JP Nadda. (PTI/File)

Nadda also chaired the Election Management Committee’s meetings for all the six Lok Sabha constituencies in Mumbai as part of preparations for the LS polls

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda has said the upcoming Lok Sabha elections will be a battle between dynastic politics and corruption on one side and development on the other.

Addressing party workers from Mumbai’s western suburbs during his visit to the metropolis on Wednesday, Nadda said under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, India is well on its way to become the third largest economy in the world from fifth now.

Attacking anti-BJP opposition parties, he alleged that they were either dynastic or steeped in corruption.

“You have to reach out to voters and seek their support for a fresh mandate (for BJP at the Centre). First-time voters in the last ten years have seen only development and not corruption like previous governments,” Nadda asserted, referring to the decade-long rule of the Modi administration that started in 2014.

He said the Lok Sabha elections, likely to be held in April-May, will be a fight between dynastic politics and corruption on one side and development on the other.

Dynastic politics and corruption will lead to destruction, Nadda said and highlighted the BJP’s development agenda.

Earlier in the day, Nadda met BJP office-bearers from all the 36 assembly constituencies in Mumbai besides party MPs and MLAs from the metropolis.

In his address, Nadda asked BJP leaders from Mumbai to ensure the party ideology reaches the last person in society and urged them to give a befitting reply to opposition attacks on the saffron outfit and its government.

He advised BJP leaders to extensively use social media and seek support of prominent personalities on issues of public interest.

Nadda also chaired the Election Management Committee’s meetings for all the six Lok Sabha constituencies in Mumbai as part of preparations for the national polls.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP and its then-ally, the undivided Shiv Sena, won three seats each in Mumbai. In the Maharashtra assembly polls held in October that year, the BJP won 16 of the 36 seats in the city, while 14 were bagged by the Sena.

The state, where the BJP is in power in alliance with the Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the Ajit Pawar-headed NCP, has a 288-member legislative assembly.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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BJP Says Rahul ‘Unhinged’: Will OBC Politics Work? | Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Rahul Gandhi |News18

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BJP Says Rahul ‘Unhinged’: Will OBC Politics Work? | Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Rahul Gandhi |News18One OBC (Narendra Modi) being the prime minister does not solve the problem, says M Kumaramangalam Nehru stopped the Caste Census and said that it would divide the country, BJP’s Shehzad hits back



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BJP to Release Documentary on Alleged Atrocities Against Women in West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali

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Last Updated: February 21, 2024, 23:05 IST

The “exclusive” documentary titled ‘The Sandeshkhali Socker – The Big Reveal’ will be released Thursday morning at 9 am (Image: X/BJP)

This comes amid a raging war of words between the BJP and the TMC over alleged incidents of rape and harassment of women in Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district ahead of the Lok Sabha elections

The BJP is set to release a documentary on Sandeshkhali on Thursday with the party intensifying its attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government over the alleged incidents of atrocities and sexual assault on women there.

The “exclusive” documentary titled ‘The Sandeshkhali Socker – The Big Reveal’ will be released Thursday morning at 9 am, the BJP said in post on X, asking Banerjee in Bangla, “Didi ke bolo aaro koto ‘Sandeshkhali’ (Tell didi how many more Sandeshkhali like incidents)”.

This comes amid a raging war of words between the BJP and the TMC over alleged incidents of rape and harassment of women in Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The riverine Sandeshkhali area — situated on the borders of the Sunderbans, about 100 kilometres from Kolkata — has been witnessing protests after the local women accused absconding Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his supporters of land grab and sexual assault under coercion.

Interestingly, ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ is a campaign launched by the TMC after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls to provide a platform for the people of West Bengal to directly raise their concerns or lodge complaints with Chief Minister Banerjee.

The TMC’s move was reportedly aimed at countering the BJP in the state.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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