Bihar Industry Minister Jai Kumar Singh on Tuesday demanded the formation of a “Swarn Aayog” (Commission for the Upper Castes) by the Centre to provide reservation to the poor among the upper castes in the country.

Jai Kumar Singh, who belongs to the Rajput caste, is a ruling Janata Dal-United MLA.

The JD-U and the Bharatiya Janata Party are part of the ruling alliance in the state.

The Minister said that Bihar had already set up such a panel and the central government should follow suit at the national level.

“We are not against reservation to Scheduled Castes and Tribes and the Other Backward Classes, but want reservation for the poor among the upper castes as well since their socio-economic condition was no better than that of the poor Dalits and OBCs.”

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had set up the Bihar Rajya Swarn Aayog in 2011 to look into the grievances of the poor among the upper castes and take steps for their socio-economic empowerment, including reservation, if necessary.

But so far the panel has not submitted any report or made recommendations for reservation to the poor among the upper castes.

Bihar witnessed violence during the Bharat Bandh called on April 2 by Dalit organisations over the reservation issue and another on April 10 by anti-reservation groups.