RAIPUR: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said the BJP never opposed the idea of caste census, but it would take appropriate decision on it after consulting everyone, a statement that comes amid a strong demand by the Congress and some other parties to carry out the exercise at the national level.
He was talking to reporters at the launch of the party’s manifesto for this month’s Chhattisgarh elections here at Kushabhau Thakre Parisar, the BJP’s state office.
When asked about the ruling Congress’ 17 poll guarantees, including caste census in the state, Shah said, “We are a national party and we don’t do politics of votes on this issue. We will take the appropriate decision after consulting everyone and tell about it. But contesting polls on its basis is not correct.”
“BJP has never opposed this (caste census), but decisions have to be taken very thoughtfully. We will tell at the appropriate time,” he said.
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The Congress has promised to carry out caste census in Chhattisgarh if it retains power in the state.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have been targeting the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre during their rallies in the poll-bound state, asking if Prime Minister Narendra Modi can talk about the welfare of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs), why is he scared of OBC census.
During his rally in Jagdalpur (Bastar district) last month, PM Modi asked whether the Congress wanted to decrease the rights of Muslims by advocating that rights should be accorded on the basis of population.
Modi said that for him, the poor form the biggest chunk of the country’s population and they should have the first right over resources of the country irrespective of which caste and community they belong to.
The Nitish Kumar government in Bihar last month released findings of its caste survey, months ahead of the 2024 Parliamentary elections, which revealed that OBCs and Economically Backward Classes (EBCs) constitute a whopping 63 per cent of the state’s total population.