Centre trying to block caste survey in Bihar: RJD’s Manoj Jha

Clutch of SLPs in the SC challenges the Patna HC’s order dismissing pleas challenging the caste-based survey in Bihar.

New Delhi: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Tuesday hit out at the Centre alleging that it was trying to block the caste-based survey in Bihar saying that the error in the affidavit was not “inadvertent but was deliberate”.

The remarks came a day after the Supreme Court on Monday was told by the Centre that “nobody except it is entitled to conduct a census or any exercise akin to a census”.

A short affidavit was filed by the Office of the Registrar General from the Union Home Ministry in response to the batch of pleas challenging the caste-based survey in Bihar placing the constitutional and legal position for consideration of the top court.

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“It is submitted that no other body under the Constitution or otherwise (except Centre) is entitled to conduct the exercise of either Census or any action akin to census,” the affidavit stated.

Hitting back at the government, RJD Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha said, “On the instructions of the PMO, the caste census process which has been completed in Bihar is being blocked with several excuses.”

He said that the conspiracy to block the caste census is being done by the BJP and the RSS to block people from getting the benefits as this is their prime motto.

“After Rohtagi, S.G. Mehta reaches the Supreme Court and then also the government will say that we don’t have anything to take with it. Mehta’s presence clearly says that PMO is directly involved to block the caste census in any way,” he said.

Referring to change in the affidavit in the top court, the RJD leader said that the affidavit point number five says that census or akin to census, after a lot of furore, they said that point number five was “inadvertent error”.

“And then again a fresh affidavit was filed. It was not inadvertent, it was deliberate to block the census. You deliberately tried to block the census. We want to request the government and also warn the government that you will ignite the volcano, if you try to block it by front door or back door. You cannot block it but you are only getting exposed,” Jha added.

On August 21, the Supreme Court allowed the Centre a period of one week to file its reply after Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said that he wanted to place on record the constitutional and legal position as the matter will have “ramifications”.

The clutch of special leave petitions (SLPs) in the Supreme Court challenges the Patna High Court’s order dismissing pleas challenging the caste-based survey in Bihar.

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