Special Correspondent

MADURAI: The Union Government's move to provide reservation for Muslims and Christians in education and employment was against the spirit of the Constitution, said the secretary general of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), Pravin Togadia, on Friday.

Addressing a press conference here, the VHP leader said that religion-based reservation was not acceptable as per the Constitution.

In the Constituent Assembly, religion-based reservation was unanimously rejected and the Andhra Pradesh High Court had also quashed the order of reservation for Muslims in Andhra Pradesh recently.

A similar move by the Aligarh Muslim University was cancelled by the Allahabad High Court.

Hence, the move to provide reservation for Muslims and Christians was “unconstitutional” as the Constitution provided only for caste-based reservation.

On the demand for Scheduled Caste status for Dalit Christians, Mr. Togadia said that the VHP opposed any caste-based reservation for converts.

Mr. Togadia claimed that the VHP firmly believed that there should not be discrimination in the name of caste and a national community, without caste differences, should be evolved.

A caste-based census would only lead to a strong caste identity and also discrimination.

Any attempt to uplift a caste should not result in discrimination and insult, he said.

Wondering how reservation for Muslims and Christians could be implemented in States where the quota percentage was 50 per cent or above, Mr. Togadia said that such an accommodation could be made only by denying the existing beneficiaries of their due share in education and employment.

On the Mullaperiyar dam issue, Mr. Togadia said that the Centre should intervene to facilitate talks between Tamil Nadu and Kerala in order to find a solution that would provide water for the people of south Tamil Nadu and also protect the interests of Kerala.

The Special Investigation Team formed to probe the Gujarat riots, he felt, was redundant as already the Nanavati Commission had conducted an enquiry.