BJP favours caste data in Census

"The last Census in which caste was included was in 1931. Since then Partition of the country has taken place when several people went to Pakistan or came to India. As such we are totally unaware of the correct caste data," Deputy Leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha S S Ahluwalia told reporters while supporting inclusion of caste in the Census.

The Union Cabinet discussed the issue yesterday but failed to reach a consensus. However, sources said most members favoured inclusion of caste in Census.

BJP also feels that the Census would bring out the real figure of people Below Poverty Line (BPL) as several committees appointed for the purpose like Lakdawala Committee, Saxena Committee and Tendulkar Committee had provided different figures of population of BPL.

However, BJP is strongly opposed to use of a new form- called the National Population Register- being used in the on-going Census exercise.

"The NPR form has a column- 'nationality as declared'. This is dangerous as there are many seccessionist forces working in the country. Illegal immigrants living in Assam, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir, North Bengal, Darjeeling, Sikkim and other places will declare their nationality as Indian. The enumerator is bound to list what the person says," Ahluwalia said.

Earlier, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said in the House that BJP wanted inclusion of caste as it would also provide correct number of "poor" or the intended beneficiaries of the proposed Food Security legislation.

OBC leaders, from Congress, BJP, SP, RJD, JD(U) and others, have supported inclusion of caste in the Census.

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