A day after yoga guru Baba Ramdev kicked up a storm over his 'anti-Dalit' remarks, Bharatiya Janata Party national Vice President C P Thakur was under fire for demanding end of reservation in jobs and educational institutions in the country.
"There is no need of reservation in the country. It should end as only politics is being played in the name of reservation" Thakur, a former Union minister told the media in Patna. He was reacting to the Congress party's additional manifesto that promises four per cent reservation to the socio-economically backward Muslims.
Soon after Thakur demanded end of reservation, BJP's ally Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan expressed his disagreement "Any one talking to end reservation, I think, is neither aware of its aim nor understands its necessity. Debate over reservation is possible only in Parliament. There is no need of any such talk to end reservation outside," said Paswan, a popular Dalit leader.
Bihar's ruling Janata Dal-United state president Vashisht Narain Singh said that Thakur's statement against reservation was part of the BJP's strategy to target Dalits and the weaker sections of the society. "If the BJP is against reservation, it should have declared it at a national level. Some BJP leaders are giving hate speeches to polarise votes.”
The Congress and its ally Rashtriya Janata Dal also criticised Thakur. "Thakur has again exposed BJP's anti-Dalit and anti-weaker section mindset by demanding end of reservation in the country," senior Congress leader Satyavarat Chaturvedi, who is also in-charge of the party in Bihar, said.
RJD leader Chandeshwar Prasad Singh said the BJP was against reservation since the beginning and once again it is raising its voice against reservation.
Earlier, in the day Ramdev, who has often declared his support for BJP’s PM hopeful Narendra Modi, apologised for his ‘honeymoon remark’ against Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.
Ramdev had said at a gathering in Lucknow on Friday, "He (Rahul) goes to houses of Dalits for honeymoon and picnic...”
Under fire, the yoga guru said on Saturday, "I did not mean to insult Rahul Gandhi or Dalits. Rahul Gandhi indulges in publicity with photos of him sitting in the homes of Dalits. If my statement hurts the Dalits, I regret it."
Image: BJP's national Vice President C P Thakur