NDA leaders Paswan, Athawale demand reservation for upper castes
New Delhi, Sep 17: With resentment among upper caste communities growing across the country, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is mulling some kind of reservation to the upper castes. This has been pitched in by two Dalit ministers of the NDA government interestingly belonging to different political parties.
Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has been demanding reservation for Upper Caste for long. He was of the view that Upper Castes also deserve 15 per cent reservation in line with the reservations for other communities in India. A senior Lok Janshakti Party leader Ajay Kumar told One India that this is not party's new stand. This has been in the party's manifesto and this has been the base of the party in Bihar. You can see the party having lots of upper caste office bearers including state LJP presidents in several states. So party's stant is very clear on this issue.
Meanwhile social justice and empowerment Ramdas Athawale too has come out in support of reservation for upper castes. Athawale said that since it is not possible to end reservation but 25 per cent reservation could be given to the upper castes to help them out. He wants 10 per cent more reservation than the demand made by Paswan.
Athawale said upper castes in several states were demanding reservation - Marathas in Maharashtra, Patels in Gujarat, Jats in Haryana, Rajputs in Rajasthan, Thakurs and Brahmins in Uttar Pradesh. "Without disturbing the reservation for SC/STs and OBCs, 25 per cent reservation should be given to the upper castes," he said.
However, Athawale said the problem of reservation could be solved by passing a law in Parliament in this regard. However, he had gone little overboard by demanding reservation in cricket and other sports as well as in Army.
Athawale said the upper castes in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, who had protested on September 6, on amendment to the SC/ST Act will be asked to come to Delhi to have a discussion on the issue. The act was for the protection of Dalits, but if it is misused then his ministry will look into it, said the minister, further saying that no change has been made in the SC/ST Act and it is the same as it was in 1989.
Ajay Kumar said that reservation to upper caste can be facilitated by amendment in the constitution without disturbing reservation to any other community.