BJP Minister takes a dig at Tejashwi Yadav

‘RJD should not worry about caste census after his exogamous marriage’

The Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar should give up its demand for a caste-based census following its leader Tejashwi Yadav’s exogamous marriage, a BJP Minister in the State said on Saturday.

The tongue-in-cheek remark came from Samrat Chaudhary, an outspoken member of the Nitish Kumar Cabinet who holds the Panchayati Raj portfolio.

“In fact, Tejashwi Yadav should be asked to which community does he now belong — the one of his parents or the one of his wife,” said Mr. Chaudhary, referring to the Leader of the Opposition’s recent wedding to Rachel Iris, who has now taken up a new name, Rajshree.

The Minister was asked about the differences between his party and the Chief Minister’s JD(U) with regard to the caste census.

The State legislature has twice passed resolutions in support of caste census and although the BJP members endorsed these, the party finds itself in a quandary over the refusal of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre to carry out the exercise.

Mr. Kumar, who had met the PM over the issue a few months ago, heading a delegation of which Mr. Tejashwi was a part, has indicated that he intended to go in for a head count of different castes in the State.

He has also said that he will be convening an all-party meeting on the issue before ordering the survey.

Mr. Chaudhary, however, was of the view that “it is for the BJP and the JD(U) to take a call on the issue” since both parties shared power.

“In any case, the yuvraaj (crown princes) of both U.P. and Bihar have broken the caste barrier. Hence, their parties should stop worrying about caste census,” said the BJP leader in a reference to Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, whose wife belongs to a different caste.

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