Dismissing Law Minister Salman Khurshid’s statement that he will take the 4.5 per cent sub-quota issue to the Supreme Court, the BJP on Tuesday said religion-based reservation is not legally sustainable and Congress has misled the minorities with this politically-motivated step.
Asked about the government decision to file a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court on the issue, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said though everybody knew this was not going to be sustainable as per the Constitution, Mr. Khurshid has every right to go to the apex court.
“But the fact remains that this is an issue where everybody has agreed to giving reservation on grounds of backwardness for which a provision exists. But to have to bring in a category based on religion is not sustainable,” Ms. Sitharaman said.
“I think the Law Minister would know better. But I think he does not stand a ground on this,” she added.
The BJP alleged that the Congress had misled everybody on this issue.
“The Congress is misleading, particularly the minorities, by saying there is strength in the argument,” Ms. Sitharaman said.
The BJP leader also questioned the timing of the 4.5 per cent sub-quota announcement.
“The 27 per cent OBC reservation from which the government of India was trying — during the Uttar Pradesh election atmosphere — to take away 4.5 per cent quota and give it to religious backward groups, particularly the minorities — as in UP the Muslims — was clearly politically motivated,” Ms. Sitharaman said.