The Nitish Kumar government in Bihar on Monday released findings of its much-awaited caste survey months ahead of the 2024 Parliamentary elections, which revealed that OBCs and EBCs constitute a whopping 63 per cent of the state’s total population. The data which could spur demands for similar caste-based census elsewhere is a key agenda of the opposition INDIA bloc which may well help Kumar and the alliance in the forthcoming elections in the Hindi heartland where caste politics plays a major part.
According to the data released, the state’s total population stood at a little over 13.07 crore, out of which the Extremely Backward Classes (36 per cent) were the largest social segment followed by the Other Backward Classes at 27.13 per cent. The Opposition cried foul and said that it was a 'distraction' from the main issues. The Supreme Court said that it will hear on October 6 pleas challenging the Patna High Court's August 1 order giving the go-ahead for a caste survey in Bihar.
In such conditions, should the caste census be conducted in other states as well? While 78 per cent said yes, 21 per cent were of the view that there is no need. 1 per cent remained undecided.