NEW DELHI

RSNM not to support any party

JAIPUR, OCT. 11. The Rajasthan Samajik Nyay Manch, which has been spearheading a campaign for reservation to the poor among forward castes, today announced that it would not extend support to any of the two major political parties in the upcoming State Assembly by-elections from Merta and Behror as neither of them was serious on the reservation issue.

The convenor of the Manch, Lokendra Singh Kalvi, told reporters here that both the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress had made "false promises'' to provide quota in education and jobs to economically backward classes as a separate category or by including them in the list of Other Backward Classes (OBCs). "The fact of the matter is that their intention is not above board,'' he said.

Mr. Kalvi said the establishment of a Commission on EBCs by the previous National Democratic Alliance Government in the Centre was a "farce'' and it died an unsung death under the present regime. There was no likelihood of any serious consideration of the demand for reservation to EBCs in the near future, he added.

The RSNM leader ridiculed the reported assurances held out by the Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje, and the Congress leader and External Affairs Minister, Natwar Singh, during their visits to the two constituencies, as wrong and misleading, and said a wrong impression was being created about the Manch extending its support to them.

"The State Government can provide reservation to EBCs without a constitutional amendment by the Centre. It can simply accept the recommendation of the OBC Commission, before which the petitions of forward castes, such as Rajputs and Brahmins, have been pending since long.'' Mr. Kalvi said, while referring to a precedent of giving quota to Jats of Bharatpur and Dholpur districts in 2000.

The RSNM had disturbed the traditional equations by contesting the last Assembly elections and made a dent in the support base of both the parties. Mr. Kalvi said the Manch would actively participate in the coming Panchayati Raj and urban body polls by fielding its candidates with the sole electoral plank of reservation.

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