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Bihar Chief Minister launches 2nd phase of caste-based survey from his hometown Bakhtiyarpur

PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday launched the second phase of the caste-based survey from his hometown, Bakhtiyarpur, in Patna district.

Officials, engaged in the enumeration exercise, asked questions to the CM and his family members at his residence there. The second phase of the survey will continue till May 15.

“It’s a good initiative taken by the Bihar government. Data related to people’s economic status and their caste will be collected during the exercise so that the state government can know how many people are poor and what sort of steps should be taken to bring them into the mainstream,” Kumar told reporters after the launch of the second part of the survey.

The first phase was completed on January 21.

“People from other states are also eager to know how we are conducting this exercise. Residents of Bihar will be hugely benefited after the recognition of their economic status, and also whether they belong to the upper caste, backward caste, Dalit, Mahadalit or extremely weaker sections of the society,” the CM said.

Around 15,000 officials, including enumerators and observers, have been assigned various responsibilities for the door-to-door survey in Patna. The state government has earmarked Rs 500 crore from its contingency fund to spend on the exercise, and the general administration department is the nodal authority for the survey.

The government had earlier planned to complete the entire exercise by February 2023.

The caste-based census has been a major issue in Bihar politics, as Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and all constituents of the ruling ‘Mahagathbandhan’ have been in favour of the survey and the opposition BJP does not appear keen on such an exercise. The state government embarked on the exercise in the wake of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre expressing its inability to undertake caste-based enumeration other than SCs and STs.

Meanwhile, when asked about his effort to unite opposition parties before the 2024 general elections, Kumar said, ”We are making efforts to unite more and more parties in the country against the BJP. We will make all efforts and work unitedly”. Earlier this week, Kumar met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in the national capital in a bid to forge an alliance of opposition parties against the National Democratic Alliance led by the BJP. Notably, Kumar dumped the saffron party in August last year and formed the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ government in Bihar.

Source: Press Trust of India

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