Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the inclusion of caste data in the census. In his letter, the former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister noted that such a census is essential for the progress of the Backward Castes (BCs). The BCs comprise the majority of India’s population but are not receiving benefits proportional to their numbers, he said. The first BC commission, in 1953, and subsequently several other national and state BC commissions had recommended enumeration of BCs in the national census, he noted. “There is speculation that a caste census would further deepen the social divisions and promote discrimination. However, the exclusion of caste data can be as unjust as caste-based discrimination. Lack of data will only result in inefficient policies and weak implementation of schemes meant for the welfare and development of BCs,” he said. Naidu said that BCs remain in poverty due to lack of sufficient data, although several government policies have been formulated for their welfare.