Bihar Leader of the Opposition Tejashwi Yadav today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had insulted Chief Minister Nitish Kumar by not granting him the time sought to meet and discuss the need for a Caste-based Census, which the Centre has said will not be conducted. The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader said he has also written to the Centre on the matter.
Mr Yadav’s comment today came days after the Chief Minister himself said he had not received any response to his letter, received by the Prime Minister’s Office on August 4, seeking to meet PM Modi.
“Since both (Centre and Bihar) have NDA governments…we, the opposition leaders of Bihar Assembly, without any bias, went and met the respected Chief Minister in his chambers. We said, you seek some time (with the PM) and we will go and meet him.
“If he hasn’t been granted time for a week now, somehow it is an insult of the Chief Minister.”
The Bihar opposition leader pointed that the Prime Minister has been meeting other dignitaries, implying that Mr Kumar was being singled out for such treatment.
“When we look at the Prime Minister’s Twitter handle, it seems he has time to meet others, but if he is not able to meet Nitish Kumar and a delegation of the entire leadership of Bihar Assembly on such an important issue…Can’t say much, but he should have made time by now,” he said.
On Monday, Mr Kumar told the media that if the Central government does not hold a caste-based Census, then a discussion may be initiated on carrying out an exercise to enumerate caste data at the state level in Bihar.
Fresh demands for a caste-based Census have been triggered by a statement by the Centre in Parliament recently that an exercise to ascertain the population of only Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was under consideration.