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Bihar Assembly favours caste-based census in 2021 in one voice

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Press Trust of India Patna
Two days after expressing a united resolve that the National Population Register exercise be done strictly according to the 2010 format minus the new contentious clauses, the Bihar Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution favouring caste-based census in 2021.
Speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhary read out the proposal to this effect in the pre-lunch session which was approved by all the members by thumping of desks.
Like on Tuesday, the BJP with over 50 MLAs in the state, where it is sharing power with the JD(U), backed the resolution in favour of inclusion of caste in the upcoming population enumeration job.
The all-party resolution in favour of caste-based census received the House nod for the second time in just over a year.
The Bihar Assembly had on February 18 last year passed a unanimous resolution for carrying out caste census.
Such an exercise was last conducted in 1931.
"... This is an appropriate time when the House should convey its sentiments to the authorities concerned for a caste-based census... The proposed census 2021 be conducted on caste basis," Choudhary said.
He said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had made a proposal for a resolution in support of the caste-based census during the debate on adjournment motion on Tuesday on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR) in the assembly, which found support from all other political parties in the House.
While the February 25 resolution covered NRC and NPR issues, the one during the day fervently asked for inclusion of information about questionee's caste during the census exercise.
Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi has already said updating of the NPR will be carried out in the state from May 15-28.
Prominent leaders of Bihar like Kumar, RJD president Lalu Prasad and Sushil Modi are on the same page on the issue of the caste-based census.
Making a strong pitch for inclusion of caste in the new population counting work, Prasad had in December last tweeted, "Billions would be splurged on the so-called NPR, NRC and the Indian Census of 2021. Have learnt that NPR forms have numerous columns. Then, why is there a problem in adding one more column for caste?"

Kumar has also been a strong votary of the caste-based census.

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First Published: Feb 27 2020 | 9:30 PM IST

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