Union Minister Pashupati Kumar Paras on October 9, launched a scathing attack at the Bihar government led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over the cast survey, stating that it was done out of “political hatred”.
“The cast survey, which has been conducted, was done out of political hatred. Nitish Kumarji got it done to acquire dominance in the political space. The report of the cast survey showed that the percentage of the upper caste people in the state is 15 per cent. When the cast survey was conducted back in 1956 and 1962, the percentage was the same, in fact, above than this”, Paras said while speaking to ANI in Bihar’s Patna.
“Sitting at the Patna secretariat, the Chief Minister ordered for the survey. No one came to conduct a survey in my village. The upper caste people who are not the voters of Nitish Kumar and the ‘Ghamandiya’ alliance, the survey deliberately showed them less in numbers’, he added.
Earlier, the Bihar government released caste survey data, with the figures that may have ramifications for the Lok Sabha polls next year, showing that Other Backward Caste (OBC) and Extremely Backward Class (EBC) together account for 63 per cent of the state’s population.
“The extremely backward class is 36.01 per cent, the general category is 15.52 per cent and the Other Backward Caste (OBC) is 27 per cent,” Vivek Kumar Singh, Additional Chief Secretary said.
According to the data, Scheduled Castes make up 19.65 per cent and the Scheduled Tribes 1.68 per cent of the population of the state.
The data also said that the Hindus comprise 81.99 per cent of the population, Muslims 17.7 per cent, Christians 0.05 per cent, Sikhs 0.01 per cent, Buddhists 0.08 per cent and other religions 0.12 per cent.
The data said that Yadavs, the OBC group to which Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav belongs, is the largest and accounts for 14.27 per cent of the state’s population.
Kushwaha and Kurmi communities form 4.27 per cent and 2.87 per cent of the population, the caste survey said. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar belongs to the Kurmi community in the state.
The total population of Bihar is more than 13 crore.
Meanwhile, a couple of days after the Bihar government released caste survey data, Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) President and Lok Sabha MP Chirag Paswan also questioned the Bihar government, asking it to make the process transparent.
“Mere words can’t define caste survey, you have to make the process transparent. On what basis did the Bihar government conduct a caste survey? Nobody knows the process. Most of the residents would say that nobody asked them, they’re not even aware…” the LJP (Ram Vilas) chief told reporters in Patna.
(With inputs from ANI)