Reservation for general category poor reflects BJP's "upper caste mindset": Tejashwi Yadav
New Delhi, Jan 23: Former Bihar deputy chief minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav has said that the move of granting 10 per cent quota to general category poor will "backfire" on the BJP as the "bahujans" (majority) are feeling duped. The RJD leader alleged the government was changing the narrative from caste-based atrocities to economic status to suit its "upper caste mindset".
The Modi government met a key demand of those castes, which had so far not been covered under reservation benefits, earlier this month as it got a Constitution amendment bill passed in Parliament to give 10 per cent quota in education and jobs for the general category poor.
Yadav slammed the government's move as hasty and said that like demonetisation it was implemented hurriedly. Reservation was not a poverty alleviation programme, he added. The government has amended the Constitution without any report from any commission or social and economic survey, he told PTI.
"To make such a provision, the government must have supporting data and figures, but the Modi government doesn't have that. They implemented it in a hurry, just like demonetisation. The BJP will bear the consequences of it," the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader said.
Parliament approved amending the Constitution for upper caste quota on Jan 9
Asked if the government's move to give reservation to the general category poor will have an impact on the Lok Sabha polls, Yadav said contrary to the general perception, the reservation for the "so-called poor upper caste" persons will "backfire" on the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).
"The Bahujan class is feeling duped... While it was stated that there is a cap of 50 per cent on reservations, but, suddenly the government opens a pandora's box and exceeds reservations beyond 50 per cent, that too without any demand, agitation or movement by beneficiary classes," the former Bihar deputy chief minister said.
"Now, the honourable Supreme Court will have to play by its own yardstick," he said.
Yadav said the move will backfire on Modi government
'Bahujans', a reference to communities seen as traditionally backward and poor, were denied further reservation in the name of this 50 per cent limit, Yadav said.
Reservation is for ensuring representation to those who have been suffering for ages due to all kinds of inhuman atrocities and restrictions in the name of caste, he said.
The Bill was passed with 165 votes in favour while seven voted against it in Rajya Sabha.
"If atrocities were heaped in the name of caste, how can assertive steps or remedial measures be in the name of economic status," Yadav asked.
"On what basis did the government give 10 per cent reservation to those who are already enjoying de facto 50 per cent reservation and in reality much more than that. And what about the caste-based census data? Why it is being hidden by the government? Is it banana republic or a democracy" he asked.
OneIndia News with PTI inputs