No move to review quota policy, Jaitley assures MPs

Opposition sees plot to end quota in Sangh leader’s comments

March 15, 2016 02:04 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:04 pm IST - New Delhi

"The government policy is clear, reservation will continue," says Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. File photo

"The government policy is clear, reservation will continue," says Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. File photo

The Opposition in the Rajya Sabha on Monday questioned the government over the RSS’ comments that demands for >reservation by affluent sections were deviations from the spirit of the Constitution.

While Finance Minister Arun Jaitley assured members that there was no move to revisit the policy, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party and even the Congress remained unconvinced.

“The government policy is clear: reservation will continue,” Mr. Jaitley said.

BSP leader Mayawati said it was a plan for systematic destruction of reservation. Ms. Mayawati, however, said the RSS had sought reservation on economic, and not social basis. “I want to remind the Leader of the House [that] in the Constitution, there are three criteria — social, education and economic backwardness. Sadly, every other day the RSS is issuing statements that reservation should be given on an economic basis and not social,” she said. Mr. Jaitley immediately responded: “This is not going to happen.”

Congress MP Hanumantha Rao told The Hindu that the RSS statement was part of “the strategy... to phase out reservation.”

“We had hopes that when Narendra Modi was elected, as an OBC he would give constitutional status to the backward classes commission, and make sure that unfilled OBC quota in government jobs would be filled; instead, at the first sign of the Patel agitation, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat gives an interview, asking to revisit reservation and then follow it up with this,” he said.

On Sunday, RSS second-in-command Suresh “Bhaiyyaji” Joshi had said in Nagaur that “reservation has helped weaker sections and if the affluent sections demand reservation, it does not sound good.”

“In the name of the backwards, they will end reservation for them,” he said.

“We had hopes that when Narendra Modi was elected, as an OBC, he would give constitutional status to the backward classes commission, and make sure that the unfilled OBC quota in government jobs would be filled; instead, at the first sign of the Patel agitation, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat gave an interview, demanding that the reservation system be reviewed…,” he said.

“We constitute 60 per cent of the population. What if we organise and take to the streets?” he said.

On Sunday, RSS second-in-command Suresh “Bhaiyyaji” Joshi said in Nagaur that “reservation has helped the weaker sections and if the affluent sections demand reservation, it does not sound good.”

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