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Govt's submission to SC on plea challenging caste survey exposes BJP: JD(U)

The Solicitor General had told the court "We are not this way or that way. But this exercise may have some consequences and we would like to file our reply"

Supreme Court

Press Trust of India Patna

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U) on Monday alleged that BJP's "anti-poor, anti-OBC, anti-reservations" stance stood "exposed" with the Centre's submission before the Supreme Court on a petition challenging the state's caste survey.
JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh 'Lalan', while citing the submission of Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, also pointed out that "former Attorney General" had appeared as the petitioners' counsel before the Apex Court.
"The BJP seeks to project a pro-OBC face for electoral gains. Its boast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi being an ati pichhra (extremely backward class) is a part of this strategy. But its character has been anti-poor, anti-OBC and anti-reservations", Lalan said.
"The BJP has always claimed that it is in support of the caste survey, which as the chief minister says, would benefit not just the OBCs but also all sections of the society, including the economically weaker sections. But it has tried to put hurdles before the exercise surreptitiously (pard eke pichhe se)", alleged the JD(U) chief.
He claimed that the BJP, which is now in opposition but shared power in Bihar till a year ago, was behind "the petitions challenging the caste survey which were rejected by the Patna High Court".
"Earlier, too, the BJP had got its people to impede civic body polls with quotas for EBCs by filing petitions in the Patna High Court. Though the court gave an adverse judgement, the government resolutely found a way out", recalled the JD(U) president.
"BJP's involvement in petitions challenging caste survey in the Supreme Court was all too obvious. The former Attorney General, who is the petitioners' counsel, hails from Gujarat", said Lalan, in an oblique reference to the Prime Minister and Union Home Amit Shah hailing from that state.
"The Apex Court was evidently not impressed with the contention of the petitioners that the survey violated people's right to privacy. Now, with the Solicitor General's submission, the BJP's duplicity stands exposed", said the JD(U) chief.
The Solicitor General had told the court "We are not this way or that way. But this exercise may have some consequences and we would like to file our reply".
The court granted seven days' time to the Solicitor General while making it clear that it will not stay the exercise until "a prima facie case was made".
Notably, the state went for the caste survey after the Centre made it clear that it will not be possible to undertake a headcount of castes other than SCs and STs as part of the census.
Both houses of the state legislature had, earlier, passed two unanimous resolutions in favour of a caste census, which the opposition coalition 'INDIA', of which the JD(U) and its allies are a part, has promised to undertake if voted to power.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Aug 21 2023 | 11:23 PM IST

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