JD(U) announces campaign to "expose" BJP on caste survey
JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh 'Lalan' made the announcement at a press conference here and said the campaign will be in three phases, spread over almost the entire month
Asserting that the opposition BJP in Bihar stood "exposed" on the issue of caste survey, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U) on Tuesday announced a 'pol khol' campaign which will be launched next month.
JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh 'Lalan' made the announcement at a press conference here and said the campaign will be in three phases, spread over almost the entire month.
He said "from September 1 to 5, at all district headquarters in the state there will be processions carrying flames (mashaal julus) or a candle march. Similar demonstrations will be staged at all block headquarters from September 07 to 12".
"In the final phase, from September 15 to 22, party workers will put up black flags at their homes as a token of protest against the BJP's duplicity on caste survey", said the JD(U) president.
Lalan maintained that Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta did the bidding of the ruling BJP at the Centre when he sought time from the Supreme Court on Monday to file a reply to petitions challenging the caste survey.
He alleged that the BJP had been "clandestinely" paving hurdles in the way of caste survey by "getting petitions filed by its supporters", only to be snubbed by the judiciary.
"State governments have every right to conduct such a survey. This was made clear by the Supreme Court when it was hearing petitions challenging the Mandal Commission (in the 1990s)", Lalan said.
"Unsurprisingly, the Patna High Court upheld the decision of our government to hold such a survey. The Supreme Court has already dismissed the flimsy plea that the exercise violated the people's right to privacy. Left with no other option, the BJP got the Solicitor General to jump into the matter", the former state minister alleged.
Lalan also claimed, "like the Solicitor General, the counsel for the petitioners opposing the caste survey is also known to be close to the BJP. So much for its drama about being in support of the caste survey".
"BJP's design, though, is bound to fail. Bihar may have made a beginning, but the demand for a country-wide caste census, despite rejection by the Centre, has become a national issue", said the JD(U) leader, who also expressed delight over the Congress' announcement that if voted to power in Madhya Pradesh, it will hold a similar caste survey.
A close aide of Bihar CM, Lalan, however, dismissed queries about BJP leaders like state president Samrat Choudhary raising hell over an ambulance having been stopped on the previous day in Patna to make way for Nitish Kumar's cavalcade.
"We have no knowledge of any such incident having taken place", said the JD(U) chief.
Notably, politics in Bihar has been dominated by the numerically powerful OBCs since the Mandal wave and parties opposed to the BJP hope to electorally cash in on the Centre's reluctance to hold headcount of castes other than SCs and STs as part of census.
Published: 22 Aug 2023, 8:30 PM