Seeking to take the sting out of the Samajwadi Party's counter to SC/ST quota in promotion bill, the Congress on Monday said it was also for a fair deal to Muslims but the issue was 'not contrary or contradictory' to the proposed measure.
The All India Congress Committee also dismissed charges that the government was blackmailing SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to ensure his party's support on ticklish issues such as FDI in retail.
Party spokesman P C Chacko told mediapersons that Congress was committed to the Constitution Amendment Bill providing for promotion to SCs and STs in government jobs.
At the same time, he said that the Congress was also committed to the Sachar Committee report which went into the status of Muslims. "These two things are not contrary or contradictory," he said. "The SP and the Bahujan Samaj Party have their own opinion. There is no question
of anyone influencing right or wrong. There is no proof of that", he said, wondering how could leaders of national strature such as Mulayam Singh be afraid of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Chacko suggested that it has become a fashion that political parties when in opposition take a convenient dig at CBI forgetting that they had at one time complimented it. The CBI is made a 'scapegoat' by them for political purpose, he said.
The remarks of Chacko came close on the heels of Yadav pitching for reservation for Muslims after his party got isolated in its opposition to quota bill.
Yadav had his comments as his party in Rajya Sabha on Monday demanded proportionate reservation for Muslims through a constitutional amendment in an apparent move to counter the push for quota in promotion for SCs/STs.