The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Quota after polls

Jaipur, Sept. 26: Reservations for the upper-caste poor are unlikely to be announced by the Vajpayee government before the Assembly elections, BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu told state party leaders here today.

Naidu, however, said the BJP favoured reservations for the upper-caste poor and the party would include it in its election manifesto for the Assembly elections.

The BJP president reminded party workers that the central government had already recommended setting up a commission to examine the issue.

The BJP president, who launched the party’s Gaon, gaon chalo, ghar, ghar chalo programme — during which party workers are to go to all houses in the five lakh villages of the country in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls — in Durjaniyawas and Dhankya villages, later iterated the party’s decision to release a white paper on the misuse and underutilisation of central funds by Congress state governments.

Naidu ridiculed Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s allegation that state BJP chief Vasundhara Raje was an “outsider” and retorted that the most suitable person for this adjective was Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who was born in Italy.

The BJP president was evasive on the resignation of human resources development minister Murli Manohar Joshi following the Rae Bareli court order in the Babri Masjid demolition case. Naidu said the Prime Minister would take a decision on the resignation after he returns to India.

Naidu also parried questions on the Supreme Court’s comment on the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat. However, he observed that those were not judgement but only comments. Such comments had also made about the Laloo Prasad Yadav government in Bihar, pointed out the BJP leader.

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