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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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Who Is K Suresh? INDIA Bloc’s Pick Files Nomination For Lok Sabha Speaker Post

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Kodikunnil Suresh, 62, is an eight-term MP and the most senior Lok Sabha member. (PTI file)

The election for the Lok Sabha Speaker post, scheduled for June 26, will be unprecedented since the speaker of the lower house has always been elected unopposed

Congress leader K Suresh on Tuesday filed nomination for the post of Lok Sabha Speaker, challenging NDA pick Om Birla. The proceedings for the second day of the 18th Lok Sabha session began on Tuesday. Om Birla filed nomination for the Lok Sabha speaker post on Tuesday in the presence of top NDA leaders.

The election for the Lok Sabha Speaker post, scheduled for June 26, will be unprecedented since the speaker of the lower house has always been elected unopposed.

Who Is K Suresh?

Kodikunnil Suresh, 62, is an eight-term MP and the most senior Lok Sabha member. He is also the working president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee and the Chief Whip of the Congress Parliamentary Party in Lok Sabha.

He currently represents Mavelikara Lok Sabha constituency in Kerala.

K Suresh was first elected to Lok Sabha in 1989. He went on to win in the 1991,1996 and 1999 Lok Sabha elections from Adoor.



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Watch: Asaduddin Owaisi Chants ‘Jai Palestine’ After Taking Oath As Lok Sabha MP; BJP Lawmaker Files Complaint

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AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday took oath as the Lok Sabha MP. He chanted “Jai Palestine” after the oath, drawing ire from the BJP.

Owaisi sworn in as member of Lok Sabha for the fifth time from Hyderabad.





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‘Should I Sweep The Streets Now?’ Mamata Lashes Out At Civic Officials Over Encroachment, Roads, Forms Work Review Panel

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West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said for any local work, tenders will now be centrally assigned. (PTI File)

Taking note of the TMC’s poor performance in urban areas, Mamata Banerjee said, “This was the worst performance of municipalities…A gang is taking money and making outsiders settle here. They want to change the identity of Bengal, but I will not allow this…”

Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief and West Bengal Chief Minister (CM) Mamata Banerjee lashed out at municipality chiefs over their “poor performance and service” in the first review meeting on Monday.

Banerjee started the meeting stating that she will sound bitter because for her common people are important. She said, “This is the worst performance of municipalities, I don’t know why it happened. A gang has grouped and they are taking money and making outsiders settle here. They want to change the identity of Bengal, but I will not allow this…There are dirty roads and nobody looks into it. Should I sweep the roads now?”

Banerjee announced the formation of review committee constituting of CID officers, Vigilance officers and ADG law and order to monitor the performance of politicians and officers. Banerjee said, “Some people think that they will stay for two years and go, but now all their work will be reviewed and monitored by one committee of ADG LO, CID officers and Vigilance officers.”

Chairmen of all municipalities, mayors of corporation, district magistrates, police chiefs attended the meeting.

She also said that along with the review committee, there will be no local tender. For any local work, tenders will be centrally assigned. For this, too, she formed a committee with secretary of land department, irrigation department, DG, ADG LO.

Banerjee said that all these things will be sorted first, and only then will she think of the civic polls, due next year.

She has directed the Howrah police to enquire on Howrah land cases immediately. “My words may be bitter but remember municipalities give service to people,” she said.

WHY THE OUTBURST?

Sources told News18 that the review comes in the wake of the TMC’s poor performance in the urban areas in the polls. Of the 121 municipalities, the BJP has been ahead in 69, while in Kolkata, of the 144 wards, the BJP has been ahead in more than 40. The TMC scored more overall seats than the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections,

A review by Banerjee has revealed that government properties have been encroached upon with the help of one section public representatives and bureaucracy. These “outsiders”, according to sources, have not voted for the TMC.

The survey also pointed out that bad municipal management by councillors and chairman of municipalities, who are unpopular for their cut money, made people turn away from the TMC.

Consequently, Banerjee made it clear that she will not tolerate these practices.

The BJP though has stated that Banerjee has said this because she knows her end is nearing. Samik Bhattacharya, BJP MP, said, “They have done badly, that is why she is scolding her people, but urban people have understood the TMC.”



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