Caste census: After Cong, dissent brews within BJP

Updated on May 28, 2010 11:54 PM IST

Signs of dissent are brewing within the BJP against the party's official line in support of caste census.

HT Image
HT Image
Hindustan Times | ByVikas Pathak, New Delhi

Signs of dissent are brewing within the BJP against the party's official line in support of caste census.

On Friday, senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi denounced the idea as divisive. This happened even as party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad refused a direct comment on Minister of State for Home Ajay Maken’s call to young MPs to oppose caste census, instead asking the government to clarify its position on the issue.

“It is wrong; it should not happen,” Joshi told HT. “It will further divide society and divert attention from issues like internal security, terrorism and poverty. A national debate is required on the caste census, but in my opinion it is not good for the country.”

Days back, RSS had also spoken against the caste census.

Leaders such as Sushma Swaraj, Gopinath Munde and M. Venkaiah Naidu have said that numbers with regard to OBCs will help the government plan welfare measures for them.

But, there have been murmurs all along against a caste census within a section of the top BJP leadership. The RSS position, it seems, has brought the opposition out into the open.

Joshi said the party chief had not yet supported a caste census, and the BJP brass should get together to formulate the party’s position on the matter. There were reports that Gadkari had opposed a caste census, but he denied these reports.

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