The Bihar caste survey inflated the number of Muslims and Yadavs in the state and reduced the number of Extremely Backward Classes as part of the state government’s appeasement politics, Union Home Minister Amit Shah alleged on Sunday.

The Bharatiya Janata Party leader made the comments while addressing his first rally in the state since the Grand Alliance government in Bihar led by Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar released the findings of the survey.

On Sunday, Shah said that the BJP was part of the Bihar government when the decision to carry out the caste survey was taken.

“The survey inflated the numbers of Yadavs and Muslims, while the number of EBCs [Extremely Backward Classes] was decreased,” the home minister alleged. “Injustice was done to the backward classes and EBCs by the Lalu-Nitish duo.”

Shah accused the Rashtriya Janata Dal of engaging in appeasement politics. “In Muzaffarpur, Sasaram, Bihar Sharif, Purnea, Katihar, Bhagalpur, and other parts of Bihar, they have tried to appease Muslims,” he said. “If this is not stopped, the border region will face a big problem.”

The Bihar caste survey had revealed that the Extremely Backward Classes, at 36%, were the largest social segment followed by the Other Backward Classes at 27.13% of Bihar’s little over 13.07 crore population. It also found that the Muslim population stood at 17.70% while Hindus comprised nearly 82% of the state’s population.

The Yadavs were the single-largest caste group, accounting for 14.27% of the total population in Bihar. The community forms part of the Other Backward Classes in the state.

Bihar’s coalition government, mainly comprising the Janata Dal (United), the Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress, argued that a caste-based survey would help identify the true population of the state’s Other Backward Classes and other castes, helping pave the way for policies such as expanded quotas.

Shah’s claims about the Bihar caste survey come at a time when the Opposition parties are demanding a nationwide caste census to corner the ruling BJP.

On October 9, the Congress announced that it would carry out a nationwide caste census if voted to power in next year’s Lok Sabha elections. The Opposition party has also promised to conduct caste surveys in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana if it wins the upcoming Assembly elections.