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On Saturday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar dodged a question on the BJP's concerns about the proposed caste counting in the state.

When asked about state BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal's demand that "Rohingyas" be excluded from the survey, the chief minister curtly replied, "Pata nahin."

Mr Jaiswal issued a Facebook post earlier this week after the all-party meeting approved the state-specific poll. He stated that his party supported the idea but had certain concerns.

The state BJP chairman, who claimed to have expressed his concerns during the meeting, stated that the survey must "excluding foreign infiltrators like as Bangladeshis and Rohingyas (from Myanmar)" lest they gain credibility.

Mr Jaiswal further said that upper caste Sheikh Muslims in the Seemanchal region were purportedly known to falsely claim OBC classification for reservation benefits, and that such inconsistencies must be addressed by the study.

Mr Kumar, who is a member of the JD(U) and is well-liked by Muslims, is sure to be irritated by the BJP's stance.

However, having received cabinet approval for the survey, which is expected to cost at least 500 crore to the exchequer, the Chief Minister chose to ignore the less pleasant aspects and concentrate on the benefits that the study is expected to bring to "all parts of society, without distinction."

He also laughed at attempts by opposition parties such as the RJD to claim credit for "forcing" the state government to act.