Updated: August 4, 2021 7:44:29 am
Accusing the Opposition and socialist parties of quota politics, former Union minister and BJP MLC Sanjay Paswan Tuesday said there was a need to carry out a “census of the poor, not of castes”. The remarks come a day after JD(U) MPs met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi to discuss the demand for a caste census and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said in Patna that he was ready to lead an all-party delegation to meet the Prime Minister over the issue.
“Opposition and socialist parties have been desperate to play reservation politics. BJP has punctured quota politics by giving 10 per cent EWS quota. Those asking for caste census are probably looking for a bigger number of OBC and EBC so that they can engage a bit more in reservation politics,” Paswan told The Indian Express.
“Let us first put a criteria of who is poor and then count them across caste and religious lines. There is no need for a caste census. Just because there has been a census of SC/STs does not mean that all castes need to be counted.”
Paswan, however, disagreed with his party colleagues on a caste census being fraught with a danger of causing social discord. “I do not subscribe to such views… I am only trying to say that we need to count the poor after defining poverty first.”
The JD(U) has of late intensified posturing against ally BJP. It differed on the population policy chorus, and Nitish is now on the same page as the Opposition with his demand for a probe into the Pegasus spyware controversy.
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