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Tejashwi rejects charge that caste census data was manipulated to suit RJD

Patna: Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav rejected the charge levelled by opposition BJP and its allies that findings of the caste survey have been manipulated to suit his RJD’s prospects.

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Talking to reporters here on Saturday, he pointed out that his caste was the most populous even as per the 1931 census, and told the BJP to press the demand for a nationwide caste census if it was not happy with the state government’s exercise.

“Yadavs were 11 per cent of the total population in 1931 when Odisha and Jharkhand, too, were a part of Bihar. Nearly a century later, they are said to be 14 per cent. What is so irregular in that?” he said.

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Had it been the state government’s intent to fudge statistics for electoral gains, the numbers of the chief minister’s caste would have also been increased, he added.

The survey shows Kurmis, the caste to which Chief Minister Nitish Kumar belongs, as less than 3 per cent of the state’s population.

“We are thankful to the CM for the initiative that is going to set the trend for the nation. The BJP should remember that we had to undertake the exercise only because of the stubborn refusal of the Narendra Modi government to hold a caste census for the whole country.

“In my view, the data compiled as part of the survey is in order. If the BJP thinks otherwise, it should get a caste census done by its own government at the Centre,” the RJD leader said.

Yadav also attacked BJP president JP Nadda for making remarks critical of regional parties at a function he attended here earlier this week.

“Nadda should remember that states are integral to the nation, and parties like ours have a much better understanding of realities on the ground than the BJP,” he said.

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