Patna, September 21
A day after the Centre asserted that the census would begin soon after the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday said the enumeration exercise should commence “immediately”.
The JD(U) supreme leader also said the census should have been completed in 2021, claiming that the “decadal census has been delayed in the country for the first time”.
“Why wait for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls…why not now? The decadal census should begin immediately. The Centre should start the enumeration exercise immediately,” Kumar told reporters here when asked about Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s announcement on the census.
Shah on Wednesday asserted that the census would begin soon after the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
“The enumeration exercise should have been completed in 2021. This is for the first time, the decadal census has been delayed in the country. There is no need to delay it further. We wanted a caste-based headcount along with the census but the Centre did not agree. Finally, we conducted a caste-based survey on our own,” Kumar said.
He claimed that the caste-based survey, in which social groups other than the SCs and STs are also counted, is “beneficial for all”.
“It will enable us to work for the development of various sections of society, including those who are deprived. This will help us to know which areas require development,” Kumar said.
On the women’s reservation bill, Kumar said, “The bill has been passed in the Lok Sabha, but what about its implementation? The Centre must move fast on implementing the proposals for the women’s reservation. It will be really good if it is implemented at the earliest.”
The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed a bill granting reservation to women for one-third of seats in the Lower House of Parliament and state assemblies with near unanimity, amid demands from the opposition to extend similar benefits to Other Backward Classes and immediate implementation of the measure before the elections next year.
Kumar also said, “I have always supported women’s reservation. There must be assured representation. Our government has ensured adequate representation of women wherever it is possible. The representation of women in Bihar is the highest for any state in the country.”
There must be provision for women from SCs, STs, OBCs and Economically Backward Classes (EBCs) to get adequate representation, he said.
The chief minister also paid a surprise visit to the main secretariat that houses the offices of several departments, like cabinet secretariat, home, general administration, finance, planning and development, as well as the offices of chief secretary and development commissioner and additional chief secretaries.
“I have got information that people working at the main secretariat are not reaching the office on time. So, I came here to inspect their presence. I also came yesterday. We all are working for the betterment of people,” Kumar added.
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