Neena Vyas

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party favours a caste-based census so that correct data on castes, the basis for reservation in jobs and education, will be available to planners.

This will give the country an idea of the percentage of not only backward caste people but also the tribal and Scheduled Caste population, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj told journalists, after a discussion on the issue was disrupted in the Lok Sabha.

There was no harm in a caste-based survey and it would not aggravate casteism — it was on this ground that a caste-based census was done away with since 1931. For, caste did form the basis of job applications and admission to schools and colleges, she said.

In a huge census exercise, correct information should be obtained on the number of below-the-poverty line families. Different figures had come from various government bodies. It was time to get an accurate picture, Ms. Swaraj said.

Calling for the scrapping of the ‘declaration of nationality' column in the proposed National Population Register, she said this would legitimise illegal immigration. For, such families would declare themselves Indian.