SC/ST, OBC reservation will not be scrapped with BJP in power, Amit Shah assures voters in Akola

Home Minister Amit Shah also accused the Congress of failing to respond to terror attacks as it wanted to “safeguard its vote-bank”

April 23, 2024 11:59 pm | Updated 11:59 pm IST - Pune

Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a public meeting for Lok Sabha polls, in Akola, Maharashtra, Tuesday, April 23, 2024.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a public meeting for Lok Sabha polls, in Akola, Maharashtra, Tuesday, April 23, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

Lambasting the Congress for spreading falsehoods about the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) doing away with reservations, Union Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah on Tuesday said that it was Narendra Modi’s guarantee that no one could think of scrapping the reservation of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) as long as the BJP remained in power.

Addressing a rally in Maharashtra’s Akola, Mr. Shah further censured the erstwhile Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government of failing to respond to terror attacks perpetrated by Pakistan as it wanted to “safeguard its vote-bank”, an allusion to the minority community.

“The country’s public gave us the power to change the Constitution for the last ten years by voting the BJP twice into office with a full majority. But we never scrapped reservation. Instead, we used the power vested to us because of our majority to do away with Article 370, the triple talaq, and end terrorism and to get the CAA passed,” Mr. Shah said, in his second visit to Akola in over a month.

Chastising the Congress for its ineffectuality in dealing with neighbouring Pakistan, Mr. Shah said that in stark contrast to the UPA’s poor performance, PM Modi’s BJP government had firmly responded with surgical and air strikes in retaliation to the terror attacks in Uri and Pulwama in Kashmir, with the Indian armed forces attacking terror bases deep inside Pakistan twice during Mr. Modi’s first term as PM.

“For ten years, the Sonia-Manmohan [then Congress president Sonia Gandhi and then PM Dr. Manmohan Singh] government was in power. But it never took any action as it wanted to safeguard its vote bank. On the other hand, when the BJP government was formed, and when the Pulwama and Uri attacks took place, PM Modi, within ten days, launched surgical and air strikes and finished-off the terrorists,” Mr. Shah said, claiming that today Maharashtra was freed of the spectre of Naxalism only because of the efforts of Mr. Modi.

He said that at the end of the Congress-led UPA’s tenure, India’s economy was 11th in the world. In contrast, PM Modi and the BJP had brought the country’s economy to the fifth position and that it would climb even higher – to no. 3 – when Mr. Modi won a third term.

The Union Home Minister was campaigning for the Mahayuti’s candidate, Anup Dhotre, who is the son of BJP veteran and four-term MP Sanjay Dhotre, the current incumbent of Akola. The saffron party dropped Dhotre senior in lieu of his son this time around.

Akola is set for an interesting three-way contest, with Mr. Dhotre pitted against Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi chief Prakash Ambedkar on the one hand and the Congress’ Abhay Patil on the other. Mr. Ambedkar had won the Akola seat twice for than two decades ago.

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