• Monday, June 17, 2024

INDIA

Caste census question drives a wedge between anti-Modi alliance parties

While some parties of the northern states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were in favour of caste census, the Trinamool Congress of the eastern state of West Bengal was against it.

Leaders of the INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) bloc leaders who are opposing prime minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party at the Hyatt Hotel, in Mumbai on September 1, 2023. (ANI Photo/Amit Sharma)

By: Shubham Ghosh

WHILE a lot of bonhomie was on display as the opposition INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) members met for the third time on Thursday (31) and Friday (1) in the western city of Mumbai to display solidarity against the Narendra Modi-led government ahead of a series of elections, including next year’s national polls, a major difference also surfaced for the first time since they decided to huddle in June.

While an election resolution was adopted at the meeting in Mumbai, a political resolution had to be dropped due to a lack of consensus over including a demand for caste census, NDTV reported citing sources.

While parties such as Janata Dal (United), Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal — major players in northern Indian states such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh where caste is a dominant factor in politics — backed caste census, the Trinamool Congress which is the ruling party of West Bengal decided to go against it, the sources added.

It may be mentioned here that the joint resolution of the opposition alliance had specifically sought implementation of the caste census following its second meeting in the southern city of Bengaluru in July.

“We have come together to defeat the hatred and violence being manufactured against minorities; stop the rising crimes against women, Dalits, adivasis and Kashmiri Pandits; demand a fair hearing for all socially, educationally and economically backward communities; and, as a first step, implement the caste census,” the parties had said in their resolution passed “in one voice”.

A caste-based survey being held up by the government of Bihar led by chief minister Nitish Kumar as a move to help the disadvantaged had been help up by the state’s high court in August. The court had dismissed various petitions challenging the state government’s decision to carry out caste-based and socio-economic surveys in the state.

A caste-based survey being conducted by the Bihar government, championed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as a move to help the disadvantaged, had been upheld by the Patna High Court last month.

The high court had dismissed various petitions challenging the Bihar government’s decision to conduct the caste-based survey and the socio-economic survey in the state.

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