RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's comment on reservation leaves BJP in a fix

Mohan Bhagwat, at the concluding session of Gyan Utsav, said there should be a 'conversation in a harmonious atmosphere' over the issue of reservation.

Published: 20th August 2019 01:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th August 2019 01:41 PM   |  A+A-

Mohan Bhagwat

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat (Photo | File/PTI)

By IANS

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in a fix over RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's comment on the issue of reservations -- to defend him or not.

Though the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) made it clear in a detailed statement that the RSS chief was "mindful of the sensitivity" of the issue and accused the media of creating an "unwarranted controversy", the discomfiture within the BJP is palpable.

At least two BJP Rajya Sabha members told IANS on the condition of anonymity that the comment was clearly avoidable, that too ahead of Assembly elections in Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand. In all three states, the BJP is in power.

At the same time, they blamed the media for taking his comment out of context, particularly when the BJP was riding high after abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

On Sunday, Bhagwat, at the concluding session of Gyan Utsav, said there should be a "conversation in a harmonious atmosphere" over the issue of reservation -- between those who want it and those who don't.

The statement triggered a political storm.

BSP supremo and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati tweeted: "The statement from RSS about SC/ST/OBC reservation that there should be a debate over it raises serious suspicion over the issue as it was uncalled for.

"The reservation system is based on humanitarian and Constitutional values and any kind of deviation from it would be an injustice. It would be good it the RSS can drop its anti-reservation mindset," she said.

Jharkhand has some 25 per cent tribal population. It has more than 50 per cent OBCs and 11 per cent Dalits.

In Maharashtra, Babasaheb Ambedkar's grandson Prakash Ambedkar sewed up an alliance between his Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) and Asaduddin Owaisi's MIM in the Lok Sabha elections to garner Dalit and Muslim votes.

The BJP fears that in the perception battle, Bhagwat's statement can go against it.

In Haryana too, Dalits form around 22 per cent of all voters.

This is not the first time Bhagwat's comment has brought trouble for the BJP on the reservation issue.

Just before the Bihar Assembly elections of 2015, Bhagwat called for a "social review" of the reservation policy. The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) went all out against the BJP, which lost the election.

Although the situation now is much different to 2015, concerns and frictions remain in the saffron camp over the reservation issue.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp