Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is in favour of a caste-based survey to arrive at factual data to implement the OBC quota. He disagrees that such a census will cause social tension – a point emphasized by the Congress to reject such enumeration.
He said, "there is already tension among the caste groups and the OBCs, in particular, are upset by delays being caused owing to the data sought by the Supreme Court."
He said the apex court's ruling might inculcate a feeling among the OBCs that they were denied the benefits of reservation "deliberately.”
Nitish Kumar urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to convene an all-party meeting on the quota issue for a solution. The apex court order, he said, had "disappointed" the backward classes and "immediate steps are required to resolve the matter."
He said he was not averse to the idea of the census due in 2011 taking up caste as one of the parameters for a demographic study. “None of us can deny that we need a scientific mechanism to arrive who is deprived and who needs the quota."
Nitish Kumar dismissed reports that Bihar was against witnessing yet another caste movement with the Koeris or Kushawas, who rank below Kurmis taking up cudgels against his government. A Kushawa leader has alleged domination by the upper caste Bhumiars in the NDA government.
Kumar had himself held a Kurmi rally when he split up with Lalu Yadav years ago in protest against the Yadav domination under the latter’s rule.
"Some people in Bihar have no other work except think of ways caste anarchy but it is not working any more. We have not come to power on the basis of support of one caste but of all the people of Bihar," he said.
With President APJ Abdul Kalam's term in Rashtrapati Bhawan due to expire in a few months, Kumar day said he should be given another term because of his "clean and non-controversial image."
He said, "Kalam commands the respect of people. Everyone looks up to him."