Patna, Jul 21: RJD president Lalu Prasad today said the demand for caste census figures was a "jehad" and the party was ready for a long battle over this for the sake of the deprived sections of society. "The demand for caste census figures is jehad for us.
The BJP is trying to suppress it for its own benefit. But our party will not let this happen. We are ready to battle for it for the welfare of the poor and downtrodden," Prasad said.
After a meeting with senior leaders from all over the state, the RJD chief said he will lead a march to Raj Bhawan tomorrow to press for quick release of caste census data. This will be followed up by a fast by him on July 26 and a Bihar bandh on July 27, he said.
"Our workers and supporters have been instructed not to disturb trains, health services and school children during the bandh," he added.
The last caste census held in 1931 had become obsolete and the proportion of SC and ST has changed, Prasad said and demanded that reservation in jobs and educational institutions be provided as per the new figures.
Parliament, High Courts or the Supreme Court cannot stop reservation to SC and ST in proportion to their population as it is in the Constitution, the RJD chief said.
"Our fight is to bring those on the last rung of development to the mainstream of the society. A separate budget will be made for their development on the basis of caste census figures. We cannot allow BJP to fool people any further with its promise of 'achhe din'," he added.
The 68-year-old leader, whose supporters claimed him to be a messiah of backward castes during his heydays, said a vast majority of people in the country were leading a life of dishonour while the Prime Minister was trying to teach them yoga instead of ensuring their welfare. "Modi and BJP are suppressing caste census data as they have become unnerved by seeing the population of SC, ST and backward castes.
Their elitist government will lose power the moment caste figures are out," he said. Queried on the PM's proposed visit to Bihar on July 25 and the anticipated announcements of package and developmental schemes, Prasad asked, "What will he give to Bihar when he has not been able to give anything to the country?"