No reconsideration of quota policy, says BJP
New Delhi: In an
apparent effort at damage control, the BJP on Monday distanced itself from RSS
chief Mohan Bhagwat’s reported remark over reconsideration of quotas, even as
the RSS clarified that its chief had not called for an end to quotas in
education and jobs.
Faced with criticism,
the BJP said it does not favour reconsideration of the reservation policy, as
even during the Jana Sangh days, the idea of constitutional reservation was
being firmly supported.
The Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP) is the offshoot of the erstwhile Jana Sangh (1951-1977), a
political arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).
“The BJP firmly believes
that reservation is important for the social, education and economic
development of the SC, ST, OBC, backward and extremely backward classes. The
BJP is not in favour of any reconsideration of these constitutional provisions,”
the party said in a statement.
The statement came in
the wake of RSS chief Bhagwat's reported remarks that there should be a review
of the reservation policy. “Right from the day of its inception and even before
the Jana Sangh days, the BJP very firmly supported the constitutional
reservation,” the statement added.
However, the BJP also
made it apparent that it was of the view that if further measures were
suggested for those who were economically and socially backward, the same was
Bhagwat on Sunday had
reportedly pitched for a review of the reservation policy, contending it had
been used for political ends and suggested setting up a committee to examine
who needs the facility and till when.
Union minister Ravi
Shankar Prasad also clarified that the BJP was not in favour of reconsidering
the reservation policy. He, however, said there should be a debate on how to
extend the benefit of the reservation to those poor and backwards who have been
The BJP's ideological
mentor RSS also clarified on Monday that Bhagwat had not called for an end to
quotas in education and jobs. It sought to suggest that Bhagwat's remarks in an
interview were misunderstood.
“Bhagwat ji has not
commented on the reservation, which different weaker sections of the society
are enjoying,” RSS chief spokesman Manmohan Vaidya said in a statement.
“Instead, he had said
that everybody should discuss (the issue so) that benefits of reservation
should reach all weaker sections of the society as envisaged by the
constitution makers. The subject of the interview was integral humanism, not
reservation, the statement added.
“If we would have
implemented this policy as envisaged by the constitution makers instead of
doing politics over it, then the present situation would not have arrived,”
Bhagwat had said.
On Monday, Rashtriya
Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad dared the RSS and the BJP to end education and job
quotas. “I challenge the RSS and the BJP to end reservations,” the former Bihar
chief minister posted on Twitter.
Lalu Prasad said 80
percent of the country's population was made up of Dalits and people from
backward classes who would oppose any attempt to do away with reservation.
“The RSS (Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh) is talking about ending reservations and we are talking
about increasing it on the basis of the population," he said. (With inputs