RJD Chief Lalu Prasad, who would have liked a sense of the caste breakup ahead of the Bihar assembly polls, is upset that the Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 has left that out. Calling the NDA government “anti-poor”, he said PM Narendra Modi has not revealed the caste breakup because his government would then have had to increase fund allocations for various schemes for OBC, EBC and SC, whose numbers he felt must have swelled substantially.
Lalu was speaking on the foundation day of his party. RJD sources said Lalu was keen on knowing the population growth of Yadavs and Muslims, his party’s mainstay; they are estimated at 30 pe cent of the population. He also wanted the numbers for EBCs, a 130-odd-caste group that could be a decider.
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“We will carry out a march from Gandhi Maidan to Raj Bhavan on June 13 to put pressure on the Centre and tell people about the betrayal. When the survey has been done on caste lines, why are caste figures not being divulged? Just like the BJP was opposed to the Mandal Commission, it looks opposed to revealing a caste breakup to help us understand society better economically.”
Lalu did not bring up the solo campaign by Nitish Kumar, CM nominee of his party’s alliance with the JD(U) and Congress. RJD sources said with Nitish’s development plank well in place, the election would be throw up a social combination that looks loaded in the alliance’s favour. Knowing the exact caste breakup would have helped, they said, especially when both the NDA and their alliance had been trying to tap the EBCs, a floating voter base.
Lalu said the RJD and the JD(U), along with the Congress, would put up a unified fight against the BJP without dwelling too much on individual strengths and weaknesses. Meanwhile, the RJD has devised a poll strategy of its own. “We will use tongas for a slow-paced, conventional campaign. Our theme is social justice, communal harmony and development,” an RJD leader said.