Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party says that the Constitution does not permit religion-based reservation. It hopes the submission of the Sachar Committee's report to the Prime Minister would not become "a launching pad" for such reservation.

BJP spokesperson Arun Jaitley said that in the last week several senior Congress leaders had recommended reservation for Muslims, thus raising a "strong suspicion" that the Government would use the Sachar report to bring in religion-based reservation.

Mr. Jaitley said that while the BJP would react in detail to the report after studying it, it would undoubtedly oppose any attempt to introduce reservation on the basis of religion.

On the educational and economic backwardness of Muslims that the report highlighted on the basis of a survey, Mr. Jaitley said that of the 60 years since independence, the Congress or parties supported by it had ruled at the Centre for five decades. The problem had arisen because the Congress indulged in vote bank politics. "It was less concerned about development of Muslims, more worried about getting their votes," he commented.

VHP not for quota

Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Pravin Togadia said that his organisation strongly opposed any reservationfor Muslims.

Unlike the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, who had suffered injustice for centuries, the Muslims ruled India for centuries, he said in New Delhi on Saturday. Those who talked of reservation for Muslims based on their population must first ensure that the community adopted family planning.