The Bihar Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution in favour of implementing a nationwide caste-based census, PTI reported. House Speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhary made the announcement during the pre-lunch session of the Assembly.
The announcement comes two days after the Assembly passed a resolution against the implementation of the National Register of Citizens in the state. It also resolved to have the National Population Register while sticking to the questions that had been asked in the same process in 2010.
Addressing the legislators, Choudhary said it was an appropriate time for the House to convey its sentiments in favour of a caste-based census to the Centre and authorities concerned with the exercise. “The proposed Census 2021 be conducted on caste basis,” he said.
Choudhary said that legislators from all political parties supported the resolution when it was proposed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday during the debate on the Citizenship Amendment Act, the NRC and the NPR.
This is the second unanimous resolution passed in favour of the exercise in about a year by the state government – the last one being on February 18, 2019. A caste-based census was last conducted in 1931.
Kumar has been vociferously advocating for a caste-based census, saying the inclusion of caste details will give an idea about the number of beneficiaries of welfare schemes. Earlier in February, the chief minister, while addressing the House, reiterated his party’s commitment towards the implementation of a caste-based census, and urged the Centre to consider it. His claims were supported by Leader of the Opposition Tejashwi Yadav, who called the exercise “the need of the hour”. Congress, too, had come out in support of the demand.
Earlier on Tuesday, Kumar said the state government has written to the Centre seeking omission of contentious clauses from National Population Register forms. Addressing the legislators in the Bihar Assembly, Kumar said there should be no confusion about how the NPR exercise will be carried out in Bihar, and that no citizen will be obligated to give details such as place of birth or that of their parents.