The controversy over tainted former BSP minister Babu Singh Kushwaha notwithstanding, BJP on Monday indicated it will go all out to woo the OBC voters in Uttar Pradesh by highlighting the loss to them once minorities are given reservation from their quota.
Shedding its initial reluctance over Kushwaha's induction into the party, the BJP top brass appears to have reconciled to the need to win over the OBC along with the upper caste in its bid to get more seats in poll bound UP.
Speaking at a party programme in New Delhi, leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said, "Though BJP has always supported reservations as it helps the weaker sections to become strong, it has always opposed reservations on basis of religion. People of different religions, Hindus and Muslims, all figure in the OBC list."
He stated that BJP is open to making further provisions for Most Backward Classes and those who are socially and educationally backward within this quota but reservation for minorities is not acceptable.
The Centre had cleared 4.5% reservation for the minorities within the 27% quota for OBCs which has antagonised the latter as it will eat into their share.
The letter written by Kushwaha, an OBC leader whose community accounts for 3% of the voters, to BJP president Nitin Gadkari asking for suspension of his membership till he is cleared of all charges seems to have ironed out the differences for the time being.
"Other than the BJP, no party is ready to speak about this.... Constitution does not allow reservation on religious basis. BJP will oppose this throughout the nation. Those whose share is being taken away should be heard," Jaitley said.