Mantri gives ally BJP October deadline on quota issue

The Asian Age.

India, All India

The 22.5 per cent reservation for SCs should also be divided into three categories— Dalits, more Dalits and most Dalits, he said.

Uttar Pradesh minister Om Prakash Rajbhar (Photo: Facebook/@omprakashrajbhar)

New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh minister Om Prakash Rajbhar has asked the BJP to take a decision on quota within quota for Most Backward Castes by October 27, failing which his Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) would be free to explore other options.

Mr Rajbhar told reporters that he had spoken to BJP president Amit Shah on this issue and the latter had assured him that a decision would be taken soon but no visible action has yet been taken.

“The dominant castes like Yadavs, Kurmi are taking all the benefits of reservation for OBCs and the most backward castes are deprived of the same”, he said. Mr Rajbhar said it has been planned to categorise 27 per cent reservation for OBC into three categories — backwards, more backwards and most backwards.

The 22.5 per cent reservation for SCs should also be divided into three categories— Dalits, more Dalits and most Dalits, he said.

Interestingly, Mr Rajbhar left the BJP red-faced on Monday when he supported the Bharat Bandh call given by the opposition.

“The country has a history of government falling due to price rise. The people have the real power and the BJP should realise this,” he said.

Mr Rajbhar has already opposed the changes in the SC/ST Act. “I am against the amendment made by the government. It should not be misused. I am with the Supreme Court on this. Fights take place between two to four people but cases are registered against eight to ten,” he explained and added that the extent of misuse of the SC/ST Act can be seen with the number of cases in which people have been booked.

With Mr Rajbhar, whose party has four legislators in the UP assembly, was asked whether he was looking for new options for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he said, “We formed the alliance till 2024. If the BJP says that it does not need us, I will quit my ministerial post without a minute’s delay. If raising voice for the backward people is wrong, then BJP can immediately snap ties with us,” he stated.

The SBSP minister has had two meetings with SP leader Shivpal Singh Yadav who recently floated his Samajwadi Secular Morcha. However, he denies having any plans to ally with the Morcha. “I meet him as a friend and we do not discuss politics”, he asserted.

It is noteworthy that relations between the BJP and SBSP have been rather turbulent since the past one year with Mr Om Prakash Rajbhar first alleging that corruption had increased in the Yogi Adityanath regime and then two of his legislators cross voting in the Rajya Sabha biennial elections earlier this year.

The BJP, despite provocation, has been maintaining a studied silence on the behavior of its ally and party sources said that the party did not wish to strain relations with SBSP till the 2019 polls.