The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Caste card trumps for parties

Patna, March 30: The Supreme Court’s decision to stay the law providing 27 per cent reservation to the OBCs in elite educational institutions has sparked a major row in Bihar with almost all the major political parties vying with one another to project themselves as a “pro-OBC” outfit.

In fact, it was chief minister Nitish Kumar, famed for his “restraint” otherwise, who drew first blood against the verdict. “It will cause unrest among the people and sow seeds of hostilities among various communities,” he said.

LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan, on the other hand, is using the occasion to go one up on his bete noire Lalu Prasad. “Lalu Prasad has falsely projected himself as the champion of the Mandal movement. The Union government, to which he belongs, has failed to defend a law for the OBCs,” LJP vice-president Ranjan Yadav said. In fact, the BJP, too, has been trying to the hilt to keep the OBCs in good humour. “It is the failure of the Union government to present its case in a proper way that led the Supreme Court to rule against the law,” senior party MP Ravishankar Prasad said.

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