MUZAFFARPUR: Home minister Amit Shah on Sunday tore into the Grand Alliance government in Bihar for “manipulating” the caste survey and “underestimating” the numbers of Extremely Backward Castes (EBCs) as part of its “politics of appeasement”.
“The caste survey by the Bihar government is aimed at the politics of appeasement and is a grave injustice to the EBCs,” Shah said while addressing a rally at Patahi airport grounds even as he emphasised that the decision to conduct the survey was taken under the BJP-JD(U) coalition led by Nitish Kumar.
“We had supported the survey. But what did they do in the survey finally? They inflated the numbers of Yadavs and Muslims under Lalu ji’s pressure and under-counted those of others to inflict a grave injustice on the EBCs. I want to tell the OBCs and the EBCs that this survey is fraudulent,” Shah said.
The attack on the findings of the caste survey came amid BJP’s assertions that it was not opposed to caste-wise enumeration and ahead of the session of Bihar assembly which has been convened earlier than usual amid indications that the Nitish government may move a resolution to raise the 50% quota cap to increase quota for OBCs.
If emphasising BJP being party to Bihar’s call to conduct a caste survey is being seen as an indication that BJP may back the move, his attack on M-Y preponderance highlighted by the survey is aimed at cashing in on the feeling among extremely backward castes that they have more numbers than shown in the survey and weaning them away from Nitish.
Muslims and Yadavs, known as M-Y combination, have been the key vote bank of RJD headed by Lalu Prasad. Muslims account for 17.7% while Yadavs constitute 14.3% of the state’s population, according to the survey. The EBC population stands at 36%, as per the survey.
Alleging that the governing alliance has been indulged in the “politics of appeasement”, Shah said if that went unchecked, the border areas may face “disaster”.
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Shah also charged the Grand Alliance regime with opposing the interests of OBCs while the Narendra Modi government at the Centre had given them respect. “There are 27 ministers from the OBC community in the Modi cabinet,” he said, narrating in detail how the NDA government at the Centre granted constitutional status to the OBC Commission, gave 27% reservation in admission to OBCs in Central Schools, Sainik Schools and Navodaya Vidyalayas besides giving reservation to these communities in admission to IITs and medical colleges.
Shah slammed Nitish for frequently switching sides and said the “Paltu Babu” had always betrayed the mandate. “Whenever you showered your blessings on him, ‘Paltu Ram’ insulted the people’s mandate for his PM ambitions,” he said, wishing that ‘Chhathi Maiya’ frees Bihar from “Paltu Ram” and “jungle raj”.
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Alleging the governing alliance was only interested in keeping the “family shop” afloat, Shah said one wants to become the PM while the other’s preference is to install his son as the CM.
“Nitish looks restless but there is no way left for him now,” Shah said, adding the CM was now slamming Congress and skipping its functions out of sheer frustration. He said they had already warned him that oil and water could never mix, but he didn’t pay heed to their advice.