New Delhi, Aug 26: JD(U) today slammed the BJP government for releasing the census data on population of religious communities instead of caste data alleging it was an attempt to create "religious polarisation" ahead of Bihar polls.
"This effort of the government is nothing but an attempt of religious polarisation... The census was demanded for the welfare of people, not for the polarisation process.
"JD-U condemns the BJP government's attempts of religious polarisation as it is against the development process of the backward and weaker sections of the society and it will only disturb communal harmony of the national population," party general secretary KC Tyagi said in a statement.
According to the census data on population by religious communities released yesterday, Muslims recorded a decadal growth rate of 24.6 per cent between 2001 and 2011 touching 17.22 crores while the Hindus grew at 16.8 per cent to clock a population of 96.63 crores during the same period.
While the census figure on religion was released more than four years after compilation of the data in July this year, the caste data is yet to be made public. JD(U), RJD, SP, DMK and some other parties have been asking the government to release the caste census figure, which was also supported by Congress.
The data on socio economic status of the population was released on July 3. Maintaining the caste based database was demanded because it could be utilised for identification of beneficiaries of various socio-economic, Tyagi said that to reach out every BPL households, it is is necessary to have the caste-based population and hence it should be released at the earliest.
"JD (U) condemns the Central government's efforts of publishing religion based data instead of releasing the caste based data in its first Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) being released after eight decades," he said recalling that when the process for SECC had begun in 2011 during the UPA government, even late BJP leader Gopinath had demanded that it should be held on the basis of caste.
Alleging that the government refrained from releasing the caste based data when socio-economic data was released, he rued that in the place of caste data, it has now released the data based on religion.
"This act of the government is somewhere against the welfare of the backward and SC/ST classes.... On the occasion of the coming of Bihar election and the on-going Pattidar agitation in Gujarat, the Central government has released the data of SECC.
"It is important to note that no survey of SECC was done on religious ground but in an attempt to polarise on religious base, the government has taken this instantaneous stand," Tyagi alleged.