BJP allies demand Bihar-like caste census in Uttar Pradeshtext_fields
New Delhi: The Bihar caste census has driven the parties which have an alliance with the BJP in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to demand a comprehensive caste-based census, stirring both political discussions and concerns within the BJP ranks.
Union Minister Anupriya Patel, a key figure in the Apna Dal and a general secretary of the party, has openly supported the call for a caste-based census at the national level. This is not the first time Patel has aligned with opposition voices; previously, she endorsed a separate quota for backward communities in the women's reservation bill, creating discomfort within the BJP.
Adding to the chorus, the Nishad Party, with considerable influence among the fishermen community in UP, has thrown its weight behind the demand. Dr. Sanjay Nishad, the party chief and a cabinet minister in UP, emphasized the need for a caste census, urging the Yogi Government to conduct it based on the 1961 census manual.
According to Nishad, this manual stipulates counting all sub-castes of the fishermen's community as scheduled castes, highlighting the nuanced approach needed to capture the diversity of the population.
The Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), a recent addition to the NDA, has also raised its voice in favour of a caste census in UP. SBSP Chief Om Prakash Rajbhar remarked that his party has consistently supported this initiative, emphasizing that the UP government should follow Bihar's example in this regard.
Deputy Chief Minister of UP, Keshav Prasad Maurya, expressed openness to the idea of a caste-based census, further underscoring the growing momentum behind the demand.
In the face of these escalating calls, the state unit of the BJP in UP has chosen to remain silent, deferring any decision on the matter to the national level.