BJP to question quota

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By RASHEED KIDWAI
  • Published 27.08.11
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Bhopal, Aug. 26: The BJP has decided to file a PIL against a report recommending Scheduled Caste quotas for all minorities that could lead to Dalit Christians and Muslims coming within its ambit.

The decision to move against the Justice Ranganath Misra report, which the BJP sees as an attempt at “minority appeasement”, came at a high-level RSS-BJP meeting in Ujjain last week.

In the presence of BJP chief Nitin Gadkari in Ujjain, party general secretary Thavarchand Gehlot was given the responsibility to move the apex court against the report of the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities, also known as the Misra commission, tabled in Parliament in December 2009.

The Misra report had recommended 10 per cent quotas for Muslims and five per cent for other minorities in government jobs and favoured SC status for Dalits of all religions.

The Manmohan Singh government had promised to implement its recommendations “soon” but there has been little progress because of bureaucratic delays.

The Misra report has sought the delinking of Scheduled Caste status from religion and abrogation of the 1950 Scheduled Caste order that excludes Muslims and Christians from the SC net. The order allows SC status only to Dalit Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists.

Gehlot last week told the BJP-RSS gathering that if implemented, the Misra report would create “disquiet” in society. He termed most of the recommendations as against the spirit of the Constitution and aimed at “minority appeasement”.

He claimed that the recommendations, if implemented, would reduce the percentage of reservation for other SC communities.

Some parties which count Hindu Dalits among their voters have been against Dalit Christians being included as SCs because they think the community would eat into the quota jobs. The Misra report, though, says Dalit Muslims and Christians face the same social mistreatment as Dalit Hindus.