Urging the Union Cabinet to clear caste-based census before the monsoon session of Parliament, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) President Lalu Prasad on Thursday announced the launching of a nation-wide movement in support of the demand.

Addressing a public meeting, organised by the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) in support of the demand, Mr. Prasad said that the forces that opposed the Mandal Commission report were now opposing caste-based census on the ground that the country would be torn into pieces because of the exercise. “We will not sit idle. We will launch a national movement,” he said demanding a commitment from the Centre.

Accusing “intellectuals and bureaucrats” of conspiring against caste-based census, Mr. Prasad said: “Caste is a reality. I write my name as Lalu Prasad Yadav. The governments insist on caste certificate from school admissions to employment.”

Stating that he would tour the State along with PMK founder Dr.S. Ramadoss to bring people who were on the back benches to the mainstream, the former Bihar Chief Minister said he would undertake similar tours in the neighbouring States with party leaders to strengthen the nation-wide movement.

Dr. Ramadoss said that he was not making a demand for caste-based census just to prove that Vanniyars were the single largest community in Tamil Nadu or that Yadavas were the single largest community in the country, after the Dalits.

“We need socio-economic statistics so that we can approach issues scientifically and allocate sufficient funds in the budget for each community.”