New Delhi: The fissures in BJP over
inclusion of caste in census remain unresolved with a section
of the party supporting the idea of having a dedicated column
to register the data while other leaders feel it should be
listed under OBC, SC or ST categories.
A senior BJP leader said if caste is to be included in
the census then it should be listed under a dedicated column
so that it can be enumerated clearly.
This may be to the liking of the Sangh Parivar which till
now has opposed the inclusion of caste in census as "this goes
against its nationalist ideology of the whole country being
one unit", sources said.
Party sources said senior BJP leaders Sumitra Mahajan and
Raghunandan Sharma of Madhya Pradesh have conveyed the RSS
message that it was more agreeable to enumerating caste under
a separate category instead of emphasising on OBC for "petty
However, sources said another section of the top brass
in BJP supports the idea of listing caste under the broad
categories of General, OBC, SC and ST.
Some senior leaders like Murli Manohar Joshi are still
opposed to the inclusion of caste in census.
The BJP core committee meets here on August 6 to
finalize the party`s stand on the issue, a day ahead of the
month-long deadline set by Pranab Mukherjee-headed Group of
Ministers for political parties to convey their views on caste
Meanwhile, some of the opposition parties are understood
to be puzzled at the language used in government`s letter
to all parties seeking their views on inclusion of caste in
The letter, written by Finance Minister Pranab
Mukherjee, seeks the view of the parties on: "whether caste
should be canvassed in the ongoing census/national population
A senior BJP leader said it was unclear what "canvassed"
Another point which has left some opposition parties
confused is on the second question which reads: "if
the....caste of the respondent should be canvassed in
such manner and at such stage that it does not affect the
integrity of the head count (census)?"
"Integrity of the head count" has not been explained, said
a senior opposition leader.