BJP opposes job quotas on religious grounds

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New Delhi, Mar 11(ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday slammed the ruling Congress party for plans to extend quotas to deprived classes in jobs and educational institutes to minorities including those converted.

The quota has been recommended by the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities, also known as Justice Ranganath Misra Commission after its chairman.

The Commission submitted its final report to the government in May 2007 and it was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Dec 18, 2009.

It recommends at least 15 percent reservation in government jobs, educational institutions and welfare schemes to minorities, with 10 percent of that quota only for Muslims, proportionate to the 73 percent share of their population among all minorities.

It also proposed that the ambit of Scheduled Castes (SCs), presently applicable to Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists, should be made religion-neutral, as is the case with Scheduled Tribes.

Presently, SCs and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) who have converted are denied quotas, a decision also upheld by the courts, as the caste structure has been traditionally identified with the Hindu social hierarchy.

BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, and her counterpart in the Rajya Sabha Arjun Jaitley addressed a huge demonstration in the national capital on Thursday, opposing plans afoot to grant reservation on religious grounds.

Calling the move communalisation of development, Swaraj aggressively opposed the proposed decision of the Union Government.

"Your (public) unity and the support of BJP would never let this injustice take place. This time again the ruling party has carved a conspiracy as Rangnath Mishra policy has already set its ground. Some other parties are supporting this reservation act, but I assure you that BJP will fight tooth and nails towards the cruelty towards the backward classes," Swaraj said.

"BJP leaders along with the support of public would take this up in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and will never let this happen," she added. (ANI)

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