Women's reservation will come into effect after the delimitation exercise is undertaken.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday asserted that he was in support of women's reservation in Parliament and state assemblies though there must be provisions for adequate representation of SCs, STs, OBCs and EBCs.
Speaking to reporters, he urged the Centre to move fast on implementing the proposals in the women's reservation bill by conducting the census, and consider his long-standing demand for a caste census.
"I have been in support of women's reservation. Why should they not be assured representation? My speeches during the days I was a member of parliament bear testimony to my stand that remains unchanged," said Mr Kumar.
"We have ensured adequate representation of women wherever it is possible. In panchayats, urban local bodies, government jobs, including the police force, the representation of women in Bihar is highest for any state in the country," he added.
Mr Kumar said it must also be ensured that there is a provision for ensuring that women from SCs, STs, OBCs and EBCs get adequate representation.
"It is, though, regrettable that even if the bill is passed, actual implementation shall hang fire till census, followed by delimitation," he said.
The Centre introduced the constitutional amendment bill on Tuesday to reserve one-third of seats in Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women. The government said it will enable greater participation of women in policy-making at the state and national levels and help achieve the goal of making India a developed country by 2047.
Women's reservation will come into effect after the delimitation exercise is undertaken and will continue for 15 years. Seats reserved for women will be rotated after each delimitation exercise.
Mr Kumar said, "I would request the central government to move fast by conducting the census and consider our long-standing demand for a caste census."
Caste census, in which headcount is limited not just to SCs and STs, has become a rallying point in Bihar where the numerically powerful OBCs have dominated politics since the 1990s.
Resolutions demanding caste census have been passed twice, unanimously on both occasions, by the state legislature and Kumar had also led an all-party delegation a couple of years ago to press the demand before Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Modi government expressed its reluctance to undertake the cumbersome exercise. However, adamant in the view that a caste census had become indispensable since the last time it was held was way back in 1931, the government in the state ordered a survey on similar lines, which is now in its final stages.
Moreover, the INDIA coalition, which includes JD(U) and Lalu Prasad's RJD, both championing the cause of OBCs, has promised a caste census if voted to power in the resolution adopted at the Mumbai conclave held last month.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)