NAGPUR: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that reservation should be given to the "oppressed, Dalit, socially and economically backward sections," however thinking that a community will progress by reservation alone is not true.
Gadkari was addressing an event here to mark the 60th Foundation Day of Mahatma Phule Education Society.
At the event, a few leaders of the Mali community demanded tickets and more representation for themselves ahead of the State Assembly elections.
Later, Gadkari urged them to look beyond the demand for reservation.
"When people fail to get a ticket on the basis of their works (kartutva), then they bring forward the caste card," Gadkari said.
"George Fernandes belonged to which caste? He did not belong to any caste...He was a Christian. Indira Gandhi did not come to power because of her caste...Ashok Gehlot became the Chief Minister of Rajasthan after people from other caste groups supported him," he claimed.
Gadkari went on to say that earlier people told him that women should get reservation.
"I said yes they should definitely get it. But I immediately asked them, did Indira Gandhi get reservation? For several years she ruled the country and became popular...I asked whether Vasundhara Raje and Sushma Swaraj got reservation?" said Gadkari.
Gadkari also added that reservation should be given to those "who are oppressed, Dalit, socially and economically backward sections of the society."
"However, it is not true if someone says that just by giving reservation the community will progress. This is also not true that the communities which got maximum reservation progressed due to it," he stated.