Ahead of state polls, AAP to take pro-reservation stand

  • Mallica Joshi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 25, 2016 23:53 IST
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will head the National Council meet on Wednesday. (HT File Photo)

The Aam Aadmi Party will take up the issue of caste-based reservations and the alleged attacks on personal liberty in its National Council meeting on Wednesday.

The decision comes weeks ahead of the Delhi municipal by-polls. The meeting of the party’s primary decision-making body is also expected to be the last one before the Punjab elections next year.

The municipal by-polls for 13 seats in Delhi are on May 15.

Reservation has been a controversial issue even within the party as some leaders had spoken about reviewing caste-based reservations.

With the resolution against any dilution in reservations, the party is planning to give a clear message to the public and its leaders that it supports caste-based reservations.

In January, senior leader and party spokesperson Kumar Vishwas said the party was in favour of doing away with caste-based reservations slowly, replacing it with reservation on the basis of economic status.

“Our Constitution ordained that reservation is essential for the advancement of the deprived and marginalised section of society… But the central government and its ideological masters are indulging in doublespeak. They are seeking to persecute Dalit students as was seen in the events leading to the murder of Rohith Vemula. Two union ministers had a hand in it,” the draft of the resolution says.

The resolution will also target the central government for wanting to “dictate and control every facet of our lives”.

“Issues of personal liberty are being dictated – we are being told what to eat, what to wear, what ideology to follow, how to express nationalism and where to express it,” the draft says.

The National Council has over 350 members with voting rights. State leaders and conveners also attend a meeting of the National Council. The meeting will be headed by Delhi chief minister and party’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal.

“The resolution will give a message that AAP is here to stay and that it is talking about issues that matter everywhere, not just in Delhi. We are upbeat about Punjab. We are also contesting in Goa. This resolution will be our message to the country,” said a senior AAP leader.

AAP will also take on the Modi government in the draft.

“Babasaheb Ambedkar enshrined the ideals of our history and the hopes of our people in the Constitution of India. But 66 years later, the Modi Government has challenged each of its basic ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity… We resolve to fight any attempt by the Modi government to dilute reservation, create communal tensions and curtail personal liberties,” says the draft.

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