Nitish puts caste-based Census in cold storage until bypolls

Patna, Oct 4 :  The stand of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar against the BJP over caste-based Census seems to have softened a bit in view of the upcoming by-elections in the state.

By-elections to Tarapur and Kusheshwar Asthan Assembly segments will be held on October 30. The counting will take place on November 2.

Nitish Kumar was challenging the BJP a week ago, claiming that caste-based Census is his priority. However, when the media asked about his stand on the issue now after the 'Janta Darbar' on Monday, the Chief Minister said that the matter would be taken up after bypolls.

"Let the by-elections get over first, then only we will discuss this subject (caste-based Census). Till then, leave it," Kumar said.

The JD(U) is contesting in both Tarapur and Kusheshwar Asthan with outside support from the BJP. As a result, the ruling party cannot afford to lose the supporters of the BJP and RSS, which might be a reason for Nitish Kumar's latest stand on the issue.

"We will call all the parties next month for a meeting wherein we will discuss this issue (caste-based Census). Whatever decision we take in this matter will be in the interest of all the parties," Nitish Kumar said.

The Centre recently filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court wherein it refused to conduct caste-based Census in the country.

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