BJP’s Nadda accuses Congress of politicizing reservations for SCs and OBCs

PTI, Apr 26, 2024, 11:37 AM IST

BJP president J P Nadda on Friday accused the Congress of seeking to snatch the rights of SCs, STs and OBCs to benefit Muslims, alleging that it is the hidden agenda of the opposition party.

Continuing with the BJP’s attempts to project the Congress as a party championing interests of Muslims at the cost of traditionally deprived Hindu groups, Nadda said the opposition party has long been making the grounds for the minority community to be declared as SCs and give them reservation.

He issued a video statement as the second phase of the Lok Sabha polls got underway.

Nadda cited the then prime minister Manmohan Singh’s 2006 statement of minorities, especially Muslims, having the first rights on the country’s resources and added that he made similar comments in April 2009.

The Congress has accused the BJP of selectively quoting Singh and claimed that the ruling party has resorted to spreading falsehoods and communal division for polarisation during the elections due to a lack of public support to it in the ongoing polls.

Nadda, however, noted that the Congress has in some states tried to provide reservation to Muslims, including in Karnataka where the BJP government, he said, had ended the quota but it was brought back by the Siddaramaiah government.

It had attempted to give reservations to Muslims in Andhra Pradesh too but could not due to the Supreme Court’s orders, he said.

He said the Congress in its 2009 election manifesto had promised reservation for Muslims in educational institutions and jobs through a sub-quota in the Other Backward Classes category.

He claimed that the Congress’ stand against majoritarianism in its 2024 poll manifesto underscores its ”hate” for the SCs, STs and the OBCs as they make up for a majority in the society.

”False claims were made through the Sachar committee report and it was said that Muslims are worse off than Dalits. It means that the Congress had been making the ground for Muslims to be declared as SCs so that they can given the reservation due to Dalits,” Nadda said.

The party has this old habit of robbing the SCs, STs and OBCs of their rights, he said, citing B R Ambedkar’s criticism of Jawahar Lal Nehru for not speaking about the welfare of Dalits in speeches.

Nehru was always in support of Muslims, he claimed.

Nadda said he never wanted that Muslims to be neglected but that they should not get undue benefits at the cost of other communities.

Those who need more protection should get these benefits, he said, accusing the opposition party of giving the impression that there are Dalits among Muslims too so that the minority community gets the SC quota benefits.

The Congress brought laws to overturn court judgements to end reservation for deprived Hindi communities in institutions like Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia, he added.

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