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NDA's ally AJSU sings a different tune from BJP, demands for caste census in Jharkhand

Ranchi: Amid the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) questioning the Bihar caste survey data, All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU), an NDA constituent in Jharkhand has demanded the caste-based census in the state.

The decision was taken after a meeting of top leadership including the party's president Sudesh Mahato on Sunday.
Talking to ANI, AJSU party MLA Lambodar Mahato said that the Jharkhand government should conduct a caste-based census on its own expenditure.

"AJSU party has been very vocal in the favour of caste-based census in Jharkhand right from the beginning. We demand that the Jharkhand government should conduct a caste-based census on its own expenditure so that people can get social justice on the size of their population," Mahto said.

Though the BJP is continuously attacking the Bihar government for releasing data of its caste survey, the party's allies in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) are singing a different tune.

Several NDA allies that are single-caste parties, largely led by one or other non-dominant OBC groups, including Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, Nishad Party, Apna Dal (Sonelal) and Hindustani Awam Morcha Secular who have advocated greater political power for their communities, have now reiterated their demand for such a count on the national level.
According to the data released by the Bihar government on October 2, Scheduled Castes make up 19.65 per cent and the Scheduled Tribes 1.68 per cent of the population of the state.

The data also said that the Hindus comprise 81.99 per cent of the population, Muslims 17.7 per cent, Christians 0.05 per cent, Sikhs 0.01 per cent, Buddhists 0.08 per cent and other religions 0.12 per cent.
The data said that Yadavs, the OBC group to which Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav belongs, is the largest and accounts for 14.27 per cent of the state's population.

Kushwaha and Kurmi communities form 4.27 per cent and 2.87 per cent of the population, the caste survey said. Bhumihars constitute 2.86 per cent of the population, Brahmins 3.66 per cent, Kurmis 2.87 per cent, and Musahars 3 per cent.

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