The religious data of Census 2011 were released on Tuesday after the Registrar-General of India (RGI), who reports to the Home Ministry, got a clearance from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
A senior official said the coming Bihar Assembly elections were also a factor behind the data release.
The current data show that between 2001 and 2011, the growth rate of the Hindu population in the State stood at 24.6 percent, while the Muslim growth rate was 27.95 percent. By Census 2001 data, Hindus constituted 83.3 percent of its entire population, the new data show a minimal decrease to 82.7 per cent among the Hindus. The population of Muslims grew only marginally, rising from 16.5 per cent to 16.9 per cent of the total population. Hindu population stood at 8.6 crore and Muslims at 1.7 crore.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in June last year took a presentation on the pending release of the religious data.
LS polls 2014 deterred UPA
The religious data of Census 2011 was released on Tuesday after the Registrar General of India (RGI) who reports to the Home Ministry, got a clearance from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
The previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government released the figures related to other socio-economic indicators but did not release those related to the religious data. One of the reasons, the sources said, was that the UPA did not want to touch the data in view of the general elections in May 2014. Before it came to power, the BJP made it clear that it would release the data once it assumed office.
“The data had been computed and was ready to be released even earlier this year, but it was not released following the lack of political will,” said a senior government official.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs released the State-wise religious data, a good 15 months after the new dispensation came to power.