Gujarat quota spoiler

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By BASANT RAWAT
  • Published 18.12.09
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Ahmedabad, Dec. 17: The Gujarat government is set to adopt a resolution in the Assembly on Saturday against a possible move by the Centre to extend reservations to Dalit Muslims and Christians, sparking accusations of “divisive politics”.

Dalit rights activists said it was just another attempt by the Narendra Modi regime to “revive the old Hindu plank”.

Sources said social justice minister Fakir Vaghela, a Dalit himself, would introduce the resolution on the last day of the session, asking the Union government not to “give any benefits to Dalits who have converted to Islam or Christianity”.

“A one-page resolution will be passed and sent to the Centre,” the minister said.

Asked why the government needed to pass such a resolution, Vaghela said: “We have come to know the Centre is in favour of extending Dalit status to converts — Dalits who have adopted Islam or Christianity.” The Andhra Assembly, he added, “had passed a resolution extending reservation to Dalit Muslims which we are opposing”.

“It (the Gujarat move) is a step to divide the Dalits,” said Martin Mackwan, an activist.