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  India   Politics  23 Apr 2024  Ajit Pawar faction supports caste-based census

Ajit Pawar faction supports caste-based census

THE ASIAN AGE. | BHAGWAN PARAB
Published : Apr 23, 2024, 1:06 am IST
Updated : Apr 23, 2024, 1:06 am IST

Pawar made it clear that he has “not left his ideologies” after joining hands with the BJP and the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena

Ajit Pawar. (PTI)
 Ajit Pawar. (PTI)

Mumbai: In stark contrast to its ally BJP’s stand, the Ajit Pawar-led NCP, in its manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls, has supported the demand for a caste-based census. While doing so, party chief Ajit Pawar made it clear that he has “not left his ideologies” after joining hands with the BJP and the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena.

“Our party believes in the right to live as a human irrespective of caste, creed and religion. It believes in equality and unity,” said the party manifesto.

“The NCP has faith in social reformer Sane Guruji’s quote, “The true religion is to offer love to the world.” We must bring the deprived and backward sections of society into the mainstream. Once the party is voted to power, it will demand a caste-based census,” the manifesto stated.

Ajit Pawar, who effected a vertical split in the NCP after rebelling against his uncle and party chief Sharad Pawar, said he has “not left his ideologies.”

“I want to say again, though I am part of Mahayuti (alliance of BJP, Sena and NCP), I have not left my ideologies. We are committed to it and are working accordingly," the Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister said.

The NCP’s support for caste census despite being a part of the NDA comes against the backdrop of the Congress’ strong demand for such a survey in its manifesto. The Congress has promised that it will conduct a nation-wide Socio-Economic and Caste Census to enumerate the castes and sub-castes and their socio-economic conditions.

The BJP, once firmly against it, has of late softened its stance on the caste census issue. Last year, on the very day the Bihar government released findings of its caste census in October, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Opposition of dividing the country along caste lines. However, later Home Minister Amit Shah said the BJP was not opposed to the idea of a caste census.

The NCP manifesto also says that the party will demand Bharat Ratna for former Union Home Minister and former Maharashtra chief minister, the late Yashwantrao Chavan. The manifesto also says that NCP will push for a classical language tag for Marathi.

While releasing the party’s manifesto, Ajit Pawar praised PM Modi’s contribution to the country in the last 10 years. “Modi’s leadership will ensure our victory in the elections. There is no one from the opposition who can compete with him. He is the face of NDA,” he said.

 

Tags: ajit pawar, caste census, national democratic alliance (nda)
Location: India, Maharashtra