NEW DELHI: The Congress Party on Monday maintained that the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh-Bharatiya Janata combine continues to pursue and spread a divisive and polarizing kind of agenda that would particularly leave the underprivileged sections of Indian society adrift and in a hopeless situation.
Addressing media here this evening, Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “The RSS-BJP combine continues to spread a polarizing and divisive agenda to undermine the rights of deprived and underprivileged.”
Surjewala further stated that India’s Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes would be the ones that would eventually suffer the most because of the policies being followed by this combine.
Surjewala was reacting to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s comment about the need to re-examine the reservation policy that is in place currently.
Bhagwat’s statement immediately resulted in the RSSS/BJP combine being called “anti-reservation”.
On Monday, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad demanded to know from Prime Minister Narendra Modi whether Bhagwat comment was a precursor to the government taking the step of scrapping reservation altogether.
“You talk about scrapping reservation, we say that we will increase it in proportion to the demographic profile of backward castes. I challenge you to scrap reservation. It will be a test of everyone’s strength,” Lalu tweeted.
“RSS/BJP can create atmosphere for scrapping reservation. The 80 per cent Dalit and backward classes will give them a befitting response,” he added.
However, both the BJP and the RSS were quick to counter Lalu’s assertions, saying that the BJP is firmly committed to the view that reservation is essential for socio-economic development of these communities.
“We are not in favour of any re-consideration of reservation benefits being extended to these groups,” said Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
However, he said, what the BJP would like is to examine how to improve the lot of the poor and the marginal who have not enjoyed the benefits of development despite reservation.
The BJP questioned Lalu’s track record in uplifting the lot of the OBCs.
Bhagwat had made the controversial comment during an nterview in the latest issue of RSS mouthpiece Organiser.
He said, “If we had implemented this policy (reservation) as envisaged by the Constitution makers instead of doing politics over it, then the present situation would not have arrived. Since inception, it has been politicised. We believe, form a committee of people genuinely concerned about the interest of the whole nation and committed to social equality, including some representatives from the society; they should decide which categories require reservation and for how long.”
The Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) said, “Reservation is a settled issue in India. Constitution has mandated it. There is no cause to re-examine the issue.”