Mulayam's volte-face on special reservation
LUCKNOW, JULY 30. Political compulsions in Uttar Pradesh seem to strongly favour the formula enunciated by the Chief Minister, Mr. Rajnath Singh, to grant special reservation for most Dalits and most backward classes from among the quota fixed by the Government in its reservation policy. While the Bahujan Samaj Party had already conceded the point, the Samajwadi Party leader, Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav, has now indicated not to stand in the way of the new scheme being formulated by the Chief Minister to provide reservation within reservation.
Addressing a convention of his workers belonging to the ``Rajbhar'' caste, one of the deprived sections of the backward class, here yesterday, Mr. Yadav advised them to be prepared to make sacrifices in the interest of the most backward class. ``The Yadav community would have to fight for the upliftment of the deprived sections in addition to sacrificing their own interests. These sections have failed to derive the desired benefits from the Government's reservation policy,'' he said. Mr. Yadav's observations come as a clear contrast to his earlier reaction that Mr. Rajnath Singh was all set to divide society to derive political benefits. He had even cautioned that the Government's move to grant reservation within reservation would generate a ``caste war'' in every village of the State and the conflict would engulf the entire society. His advice to his people appears to be an articulation of a new political line to keep his vote- bank in tact.
Yadavas and Kurmis are the most influential sections among backward castes which have benefited from the implementation of Mandal formula. And if the new reservation scheme comes into force the two castes would be the greatest losers.
An important aspect of the new quota scheme could be the provision of special reservation for some castes belonging to the Muslim community which are included among the backward castes in the State. All opposition parties, including the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Samajwadi Party and the Congress (I), have been demanding reservation for Muslims. With the implementation of the new reservation policy the demand could be automatically conceded to an extent. It is ironical that the BJP, considered to be a blatantly anti-Muslim party, gets a chance to grant special reservation for Muslims. The party has been consistently opposing any scheme to grant reservation on communal basis.