JD-U national council reiterates demand for caste census, says law not enough for population control
The council, while favouring the need for population control, reiterated Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s stand that the objective of could be best achieved by creating awareness and boosting education among girls, as Bihar had experienced over the last one and half decades.
The national council meeting of the JD-U on Sunday endorsed all the decisions taken at the party’s national executive meeting held in New Delhi on July 31, when Munger MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh was made the party president.
JD-U general secretary KC Tyagi later said while talking to the media that Lalan Singh was now formally made the national president of the party. The council also passed a resolution that the party chief would head the party’s parliamentary board in keeping with the party’s Constitution.
“It has also been decided that the party will contest the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Manipur. The party would like honourable seat-sharing in UP and other states. In 2017, the party did not contest despite a demand and that affected our expansion. The council also reiterated its demand for caste census, for which Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had led an all-party delegation to the PM earlier this month,” he added, emphasising that JD-U had remained the most reliable partner of the BJP.
The council also passed a resolution demanding that the Rohini Commission recommendations be made public. In 2017, the Centre had set up Justice Rohini Commission, which favoured sub-categorisation of reservation for other backward castes (OBCs) in the government sector by splitting 27% quota into different categories of OBC for equitable distribution of benefits among different sub-castes.
After several extensions, it could submit its report, dividing 2633 OBC sub-castes in the central list into four sub-categories with 2%, 6%, 9% and 10% quota to add up to 27%. However, its report has not yet come out.
The council, while favouring the need for population control, reiterated Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s stand that the objective of could be best achieved by creating awareness and boosting education among girls, as Bihar had experienced over the last one and half decades. Kumar also presented facts as to how the total fertility rate (TFR) had come down from over four to three and it could reach two with the expansion of girls’ education and self-reliance due to a range of initiatives for them.
“Merely making a law will not serve the purpose. It requires overall approach as it requires a change in mind-set, which can come only through education and empowerment,” he added.
In his address, Kumar also batted for caste census and its importance to frame policies and programmes for those left out. Parliamentary affairs minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary said that he was also part of the delegation to the PM and there has been no opposition to the demand for caste census from any quarter, which speaks about its need.
The council discussed a range of issues, including organisational strengthening, upcoming election in Uttar Pradesh and other states and party’s expansion plans in its quest for national status.
The council also tried to dispel speculations about the internal rift in the party by presenting a united front. Lalan Singh was effusive in his praise of Union minister RCP Singh, from whom he took charge as party’s national chief, in the presence of Nitish Kumar and all the senior party leaders. RCP Singh said that Lalan Singh was an old associate and the party would grow further under his leadership.
During discussion, Nitish Kumar’s potential for being a PM candidate also surfaced, though it was stated that he was not a candidate for the post, but had all the qualities.
RCP Singh said that there was no substitute to Kumar and his work spoke for him not only as the reformist Bihar CM, but also as a capable union minister in important ministries like Railways and agriculture.