A Congress promise of reservation for backward Muslims kicked up a row with BJP calling it a “last desperate” act on its part to get some votes, a charge rejected outright by Congress which said it has not come out with any supplementary manifesto.
“Congress has not come out with any sub-manifesto,” party spokesperson and Law Minister Kapil Sibal said today maintaining that the issue of sub-quota for backward Muslims is pending in the Supreme Court and as long as the matter is not resolved there the party cannot do anything.
“These are only suggestions made in the process of public consultation. We have put it before people. When Congress comes to power, we will take it forward. These are suggested policies and programmes, which have come up at the open manifesto consultation process.
“These are suggestions for consideration, when the government comes to power. When we are open to it, we have a right to consider it as and when the Supreme Court decides it. This is the best possible way. There is nothing wrong with that…There is no appeasement…We must respect the sentiments of the public,” Mr. Sibal said.
He was asked about reports that the Congress has put on its website a sub-manifesto in a fresh minority pitch promising quota reservation in jobs for backward Muslims.
When told that that these are not mere suggestions as Congress had announced a minority sub-quota before the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh as well, the Union Minister said, “Yes, we had announced it even in UP but the matter is pending in the Supreme Court. How can we do it unless the Supreme Court decides it?”
He added that in some states like Andhra Pradesh reservation has been made for backward minorities. The matter is now pending with the Supreme Court.
The BJP accused the Congress of releasing an additional manifesto promising reservation for backward Muslims, saying it is their “last desperate” act to get some votes and people will not believe in a “supplementary manifesto of a losing party”.
“Losers may promise the moon tomorrow. But the people have suffered under their 10 years rule. So nobody is willing to discuss it also,” BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said.