BJP move to make MBCs quota a national issue
Pioneer News Service/Lucknow
After successfully making the reservation for the Most Backward Castes (MBCs) a major issue in UP politics, the BJP-led alliance in UP is all set to take this issue to the centrestage of national politics.
Chief Minister Rajnath Singh announced that the process of recruitments to 15,000 vacant posts in government departments would be started only after the receipt of the report of the Social Justice Committee set up to work out the modalities for reservation to MBCs. He said in any case the report of the committee would be implemented by September 15.
The Chief Minister made this announcement at a day-long convention organised here on Tuesday by the OBC-SC Utthan Samiti, organised by the Union Minister of Sports and Youth Welfare Uma Bharati. The Union Minister for Telecommunication Ramvilas Paswan and several other MBC leaders from the BJP and its partners attended the convention. The NDA leaders resolved to take the issue to its logical end by ensuring a separate quota for MBCs within 27 per cent quota for OBCs in Central Government services.
The convention was organised to felicitate Chief Minister Rajnath Singh for initiating the process for ensuring social justice to MBCs.
Presiding over the convention Bharati, in a clear departure from her earlier stand, advocated the cause of MBCs among the Muslims. She said the reservation was a special opportunity and there should be no discrimination on lines of caste and religion in ensuring the benefits of reservation to Muslim MBCs.
The firebrand BJP leader said for ensuring separate quota for MBCs she along with MBC MPs and other leaders soon take up the issue with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. She also urged the opposition parties to lend their support to the UP Government to implement the policy at the earliest.
Lauding Chief Minister Rajnath Singh for raising the issue to do justice with MBCs, she exhorted the people to rise from their slumber and fan out to every nook and corner of the state for countering the canard spread by the Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. Accusing the BSP and SP of betraying the cause of OBCs and Dalits, she said all the benefits of reservation had been cornered by a few castes among OBCs and SCs.
Stressing the need for a separate quota for MBCs, Bharati said there was a need for a national debate on the present status of reservation. She said a civil war-like situation would erupt in the near future as reservation was losing its importance in this era of liberalisation.
Praising the efforts of Dalit leader Ramvilas Paswan for uplift of Dalits she said Paswan would one day fulfil the dream of Mahatma Gandhi by being elected Prime Minister of India.
Addressing the convention Paswan called for conducting a national survey ascertaining the exact share of MBCs in the OBC population. He advocated provision of quota for the MBCs at the national level. He said the Centre should constitute a committee to look into the matter or direct the state governments in this regard. He cautioned the MBCs to beware of those SC and OBCs leaders pursuing a single-point agenda of abusing the upper castes.
The Chief Minister, addressing the convention, criticised the opposition parties for terming measures taken by his government for the uplift of MBCs as a political move ahead of Assembly elections. He asserted that he was committed to the uplift of the MBCs who had been denied their due even after the implementation of the Mandal Commission report. He said the MBCs and the most depressed among the Dalits would also be given a separate quota in the panchayat polls.
Rajnath Singh said the Social Justice Committee headed by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Hukum Singh, which was looking into the issue of reservation to MBCs, had been asked to submit its report latest by August 31 to ensure issuance of a notification by the government within the next fortnight.