Mayawati seeks job quota for MBCs

The Times of India News Service

NEW DELHI: In a significant move to enlarge her vote share in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, BSP vice-president Mayawati has demanded a job quota for the most backward castes (MBCs) in the state.

Speaking at a media conference here on Thursday, she said the other backward castes (OBCs) should get a reservation quota higher than the present 27 per cent. "Their reservations in government services should be in proportion to their population," Mayawati said.

Making no bones about the political card she was playing, the BSP leader promised to give the largest number of party ticket to various segments of the Backwards. "When our list is out, you will see that of all the political parties we have given the maximum number of tickets to the MBCs and other backward classes," she said.

In a clear indication of her attempt at social cohesion, leaving the aggressive and often sectarian Dalit politics behind, Mayawati said her party was ready to support any amendment in Parliament to get over the constitutional hurdles to increase the OBC reservations.

"If the BJP government at the Centre intends to amend the Constitution for this purpose, we will support it," she said. She, in fact, called for reservations for the Backwards and Dalits in the Rajya Sabha and the judiciary.

Mayawati affirmed that her party would give adequate representation to the Upper Castes too. If her pronouncements indicate anything, it is an attempt at social synthesis to expand her social base and enhance her acceptability as a serious contender for chief ministership.

Aware that even a very high level of consolidation of the Dalit vote would not enable her to get past the post, she has begun to assiduously woo other social segments.

Demanding action against the killers of Dalits in Aligarh, she significantly remarked: "The culprits should be punished, not their castes." The 11-point charter of demands on which the BSP is launching a statewide agitation from July 20, calls for an end to the cult of abductions of businessmen in the state.

The demand seems to be an effort aimed at winning over the business classes. Asked about the reason, she said: "If the businessmen are terrorised, they will run away from the state, closing down their units."

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Referred by: Mukandan CM
Published on: June 29, 2001
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