BJP's response awaited on caste survey in Bihar: Nitish Kumar

The BJP finds itself in a bind in Bihar after the Union Government ruled out a “caste census”

All parties in Bihar, except the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have made known their stance on conducting a headcount of castes in the state, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Monday.

The Janata Dal (United) (JD(U) leader, however, made it clear he was "not blaming" his ally for making the matter hang fire and that he was confident of getting a "positive response".

"All parties, except the BJP, have agreed to holding an all-party meeting to decide modalities of a state-specific exercise. The date will be announced once we hear from the BJP.

"This is not an accusation. The BJP leadership is taking its time. I do not think there is any scope of disagreement on the issue,” Mr. Kumar said.

The saffron party finds itself in a bind in Bihar after the Union Government ruled out a "caste census", despite Mr. Kumar having broached the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Centre has made it clear that as in the past, a fresh headcount of only SCs and STs will be made.

This has created turbulence in Bihar, where the OBCs have dominated the political space for decades.

Most political heavyweights of the State, including Mr. Kumar and his arch rival Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad, come from the numerically powerful Other Backward Classes.

In the recent past, both houses of the State legislature have twice passed unanimous resolutions, with BJP members in tow, pressing the demand for a caste census.

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