BJP tampering with reservation, bypassing the constitutional system: Swami Prasad Maurya

The BJP is the Indian British, and follows the policy of divide and rule, says former U.P. Minister

Updated - January 26, 2022 09:48 pm IST

Published - January 26, 2022 09:43 pm IST - LUCKNOW

Former U.P. Minister Swami Prasad Maurya addresses an election meeting after joining the Samajwadi Party in Lucknow on January 14, 2022.

Former U.P. Minister Swami Prasad Maurya addresses an election meeting after joining the Samajwadi Party in Lucknow on January 14, 2022.


In an interview with The Hindu , Swami Prasad Maurya , senior OBC leader who recently quit the BJP and joined the SP, slammed the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh for tampering with reservation policy and says they have gathered all the scattered forces under the SP to wipe out the BJP, which has become an enemy of the Dalit, poor, backwards and workers. Excerpts:

You have raised the 85 vs 15 slogan in this election. Perhaps after a long time it’s a talking point in Uttar Pradesh election.

When I resigned from the BSP and joined the BJP, a big support base, especially from the most-backward and Dalit communities, flocked to the BJP. The BSP fell to the third spot and the BJP jumped to number one and formed a full majority government. In public meetings, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed his pain that he had been called neech (lowly) because he was born in a pichdi jat i (backward caste). This was the biggest reason for me joining the BJP. But when the government was formed and I got a chance to be a part of it, I found that the BJP does exactly the opposite of what it claims. They crossed all limits when they started tampering with reservation and started filling seats meant for reserved categories with people from general categories, bypassing the constitutional system and arbitrarily. In the appointment of 69,000 teachers, in 19,000 reserved seats they handed appointment letters to applicants from the general category. The National Commission for Backward Classes took cognisance and sent a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. For two-three months, the report was kept in a cold basket but later under pressure they formed a scanning committee which admitted that general category applicants had been appointed in 6,000 and not 19,000 such seats. Despite this, the appointments went through. Then, the Cabinet passed a proposal saying that posts, where OBC, SC and ST candidates were not available, would be filled with general categories. Despite me opposing this in the meeting, which Yogi Adityanath agreed with, it was implemented and general category applicants were appointed in medical colleges and universities in large numbers.

What happened in the BJP government over the past five years and why you had to resort to this formulation?

This government did not run a special campaign to fill the backlog of reserved posts. On many instances, I asked them that you talk of the 80 vs 20 but tamper with the reservation of the OBCs, SCs and STs, who voted for you in large numbers, don’t you consider them as Hindus? If you consider them Hindus then why tamper with their reservation? Why run a campaign to fill their seats with general category applicants. They did not have any reply to this. Whenever someone tries to hurt the interests of Dalits and OBCs, I not only oppose it but with a feeling of vengeance I try to wipe out their existence.

You say you have ideological differences with the BJP and despite this you worked with commitment as a minister for five years. Your conflict is between Hindutva and Bahujan politics or Ambedkarite and RSS politics?

You (the BJP) cannot destroy the constitutional rights of reservation for the SC, ST and OBC sections, by raising a slogan of Hindu, Muslim. You cannot tamper with and mock the constitutional arrangement. You cannot bury the 85% weaker sections and do politics over their body. This is why I exposed their wrong policies. And whatever allegations I have levelled against them, no BJP leader, big or small, could rebut. Because they are at fault.

But the BJP claims that it is the best party for the interests of backward class people…

Even the backward castes were taken over by this fallacy. When Modiji stated that people considered him neech (lowly) because he was born in pichdi jati (backward caste), I thought their chehra (face) and charitra (character) may have changed. But after working for five years, I felt that their face may have definitely changed but the nature of their work and thinking did not change. They want to make a brunch out of the society and swallow the rights of those standing at the end of the society just like a python. And due to this, the poor, Dalits, backwards and deprived sections of the society have resolved to get together and uproot the BJP, teach them a lesson and form a SP government.

Why didn’t you quit earlier and resigned just before election? It is also being said that many of those MLAs who quit after you were already being denied ticket by the BJP.

This is a democratic setup. A public mandate is given for every five years. I honoured the public mandate. When the time for a new mandate came, I exposed their black deeds and the way they dishonoured the constitutional setup, tampered with reservation and snatched the rights of Dalits and OBCs, I raised my voice and cautioned the Dalits and backwards.

The BJP sometimes also talks about the ‘60 vs 40’ formula. It mobilises the rest of the Hindu communities against the Jatavs, Yadavs and Muslims. This has been successful in recent elections. Will this equation work again?

The BJP is the Indian British (Bharatiya Angrez). They follow the policy of divide and rule. They want to make backward castes fight each other by tearing them into two parts. They make Dalits fight each other and divide them into two. They want to divide a big force into small clans. But the response to their manipulations is the 85-15. Pachasi toh hamara hain, pandra mein bhi batwara hain (85 out of 100 belongs to us, even in the remaining 15% we have a share). And about the 80 vs 20, I want to ask BJP leaders didn’t Ashfaqullah face the gallows for this country? Didn’t Veer Abdul Hamid destroy dozens of Pakistani tanks and achieve martyrdom? So why Hindu-Muslim, when Muslims have every now and then sacrificed their lives for the nation? Those whose fathers and grandfathers did not contribute anything to the freedom struggle, are raising fingers at them? Did these immortal brave sons ever imagine that their coming generations would have to face such step-motherly treatment in free India and that there will be a conspiracy to throw them out of the country and accuse them of treason? If you raise the slogan of 80 vs 20, then we will use our 85 vs 15 and smash into smithereens the BJP’s pot of sins.

Does your new colleague Akhilesh Yadav also believe that this formula will be implemented? Because he hasn’t yet openly expressed his views on this.

It was me who experienced and witnessed their (the BJP’s) bad deeds. That’s why I am the one making the revelation and also damaging them. I will be the helping hand in bringing them down. We have gathered all the scattered forces under the SP. Under Akhilesh Yadav’s leadership we will wipe out the BJP, which has become an enemy of the Dalit, poor, backwards and workers. Everybody is suffering. For the first time in our democracy, farmers were forced to sit under the sky for dharna. There were dozens of meetings but no assurances to revoke the three farm laws were provided … not even in our dreams. When the election came close, they feared public support was shrinking and hurriedly took the laws back. All the small traders in the country were brought to the streets due to their wrong policies. The unemployed youth is feeling cheated. They chant sabka saath, sabka vikas but actually practice ‘ sabka vinash’.

Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and you hail from the same community. But your ideologies are very different. You are blue (Ambedkarite), he is saffron. He says you have quit the BJP to jump into a sinking boat.

Am I in a sinking boat or he is, we will find out on March 10.

You have taken a dig at his individual situation in the BJP government…

My fight is not personal with anyone.

I mean he was made the BJP’s OBC face but not given the due importance

He has been created. One who is created he lives on mercy and grace. And the one who is made through struggles, not just thousands but even lakhs of Keshavs cannot compete with him.

Sometimes politics of Hindutva and social justice go hand-in-hand. OBC leaders either join or leave the BJP, simply changing slogans during elections. Isn’t this a big ideological contradiction?

Sometimes it happens that even an Ambedkarite person like me joined the BJP. Why? When Modi cried out his pain that people call him neech due to his backward caste. I didn’t join the BJP on their call but on the cry of the backward castes thinking that Modi’s heart would carry the pain suffered by the backward castes, poor and Dalits. But I saw that this face is cosmetic, it is a mask. There is something else inside. The training of the RSS speaks aloud.

Who is then getting the benefits under the BJP government? The general castes or any specific ones among them?

Dalits and OBCs have a huge population. So, some circumstances arose when the BJP cried aloud about them and Behenji (Mayawati) moved away from the ideas of Babasaheb and Manyawar Kanshiram and started working against the policy of the Bahujan Samaj. The result was that people were unhappy there and due to the noise made around OBCs and on the face of Modiji they flocked to the BJP in large numbers. But even here they saw that the BJP was working like a saanpnath (snake). And the RSS, which holds its reins, was working like a nagnath (cobra). To finish off their venom, all the Dalits and OBCs will get together on one platform and take the form of a mongoose.

But your daughter and Lok Sabha MP Sanghamitra Maurya is still with the BJP. She says you will always remain her father but also praises Modi. Why didn’t she resign? Does this not weaken your stand?

I was a minister in Uttar Pradesh. I reviewed all the wrong policies of the government. It was my personal decision. It’s a different matter that it turned into a long caravan. Many MLAs and ministers resigned and stood beside me. The OBCs and Dalits of the State came together. But I did not ask any of the MLAs or ministers to resign. I welcomed those who resigned. I did not pressure those who did not. Every MLA or MP is a public representative. He or she has the discretion to take their own decisions.

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