New Delhi: Caught between opposition from RSS
and compulsions of OBC votebank politics, BJP today indicated
that it favours inclusion of caste in Census but the data
should not have specific details and stick only to the broad
category of General, OBC, SC or ST.
"We have not changed the position we took in Parliament
that caste should be included in the Census. But the party
feels the data should not include specific caste details like
Yadav, Kurmi, Lodh, and so on. Only the broad category of
General, OBC, SC or ST should be mentioned," a senior BJP
While this stand would satisfy the RSS, the Sangh
fountainhead, to some extent, it would also serve the BJP`s
purpose of wooing the OBC voters, party sources said.
BJP and other political parties have to send their final
view on inclusion of caste in Census to the government by
The senior leader maintained that BJP was in agreement
with RSS that caste was a divisive factor and thus went
against the basic ethos of Sangh`s nationalist ideology which
looks at all Indians as one.
However, the compulsions of votebank politics, especially
that of Other Backward Classes (OBC) who are not enumerated in
the Census but get the benefit of reservation, has forced BJP
to favour inclusion of caste in census.
BJP does not want to be seen as going against OBCs and
had even fielded its backward class leader Gopinath Munde to
speak on the issue during a debate in the Budget session of
Parliament. Party general secretary Ananth Kumar had seconded
Munde`s views in the debate.
"There are several politicians who have become big
leaders not because of their talents and abilities but because
they belong to a certain caste and have become its
representatives," the senior BJP leader said.
Sources said the BJP has conveyed its political
compulsions in supporting inclusion of caste in Census to the
RSS and tried to convince it that there was no other way out.