Patna: In wake of the Union government's affidavit, filed in the Supreme Court, citing the difficulties of conducting a caste census, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Saturday reached out to non-BJP leaders across the country seeking their support on the issue of caste census for backward classes.
Earlier on Friday Yadav, Congress' Madan Mohan Jha, and leaders of Left parties had assembled at the residence of former Chief Minister Rabri Devi for a meeting on this issue. Addressing media persons afterwards, Tejashwi Yadav said that the Union government, "which is following the ideology of RSS", does not want a caste census in the country.
On Saturday, Yadav, leader of the opposition in the Bihar assembly, shot off letters to politicians as diverse as Nitish Kumar, Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal.
In the strongly-worded letter addressed to a total of 33 recipients, Yadav said it bears repeating for a brazenly callous government that the caste system, which Dr B R Ambedkar referred to as a system of graded inequality, has been a great source of disadvantage for a significantly large section of population.The young leader also urged all to join hands and push the government of the day on the issue of caste census.
I am open to suggestions and inputs from you so that we immediately prepare our plan of action in this regard without any further delay, said Yadav, who was a part of an all-party delegation headed by Nitish Kumar that had recently met the Prime Minister to press the demand.
All non-BJP Chief Ministers, including Uddhav Thackeray, M K Stalin, Naveen Patnaik, K Chandrasekhar Rao and Jaganmohan Reddy, besides heads of political parties not aligned with the NDA like Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati, Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Parkash Singh Badal and Sitaram Yechury have been marked a copy of the letter.
The NDA's alliance partners in Bihar, including Kumar, Hindustani Awam Morcha chief Jitan Ram Manjhi and Vikassheel Insaan Party president Mukesh Sahni also figure in the list. So does LJP's Chirag Paswan though, interestingly, his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras who heads a rival faction of the party and is a Union minister is not among the recipients.
Similarly, Akhtarul Iman, state president of the AIMIM, has been sent the letter but not the party chief Asaduddin Owaisi who claims to be equidistant from the BJP and mainstream secular parties like the Congress and its allies, including RJD.
Apart from Tejashwi Yadav, On Saturday, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has also criticized BJP strongly saying that the BJP does not want that caste Census of backward classes should be carried out in the country, adding it was "opposed to social justice from the very beginning.
In a tweet in Hindi, Yadav said, The BJP government has proved that it does not want the census of the OBC by rejecting the long-standing demand for enumeration of the backward castes as it does not want to give them their rights in proportion to their population.He alleged that the BJP is a supporter of money and power and has been opposing social justice from the very beginning
The Union government has agreed for a head count of only the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, much to the chagrin of the numerically powerful OBCs who have dominated politics in Hindi belt, particularly Bihar, since the 1990s.