Jammu & Kashmir

Congress wants to remove Dalit, OBC quotas and give reservation to ‘Jihadi’ vote bank: Modi

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Narendra Modi.

New Delhi: Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi accused the Congress of attempting to alter the constitution to eliminate quotas for Dalits and OBCs while proposing reservations for what he referred to as the ‘jihadi’ vote bank.

On Tuesday, Modi stated that during his lifetime, he would not permit reservations intended for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes to be extended to Muslims.

Addressing a campaign rally in Telangana’s Zaheerabad Lok Sabha constituency, Modi reiterated his accusation that the Congress was “undermining the Indian Constitution” and alleged that they aimed to institute reservations for Muslims in government jobs and education by encroaching upon the rights of marginalized sections for electoral gain.

The Congress’ manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls does not propose religion-based reservations for any community. Instead, it emphasizes ensuring equal opportunities for minorities in education, healthcare, public employment, contracts, skill development, sports, and cultural activities.

Modi asserted that the Congress had diverted quotas meant for backward classes to benefit Muslims, citing the 4% reservations for Muslims under the Other Backward Classes category in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, according to PTI.

He accused the Congress of attempting to turn undivided Andhra Pradesh into a “laboratory of appeasement” in 2004 and 2009.

Since 2007, Muslims have been eligible for 4% reservations in education and government jobs under the Other Backward Classes category in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

A total of 14 states and Union territories include Muslims in their list of Other Backward Classes based on socio-economic indicators.

Gujarat, where Modi served as chief minister for 12 years, also includes Muslim communities among Other Backward Classes. In an interview with ANI two years ago, Modi highlighted that 70 Muslim castes benefited from reservation benefits in the state.

Despite this, Bharatiya Janata Party members, including Home Minister Amit Shah, have pledged during election rallies to eliminate “religion-based reservations” in the future.

If elected in the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress and the INDIA bloc have promised to conduct a caste census to formulate schemes for Dalits and other backward or minority communities.

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