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BJP supports OBC quota in higher institutions

President Rajnath Singh charged the UPA Government with creating social tensions on the reservation issue.

india Updated: May 29, 2006 12:55 IST

Seeking to tread the middle path ahead of the crucial Assembly elections early next year, the Opposition BJP on Monday supported the OBC quota in higher educational institutions even as it demanded that economically weaker sections of upper caste were included in the benefits of reservation.

Apparently attempting a delicate balancing act between keeping the large OBC electorate in good humour and addressing the concerns of its core upper caste constituency, party President Rajnath Singh charged the UPA Government with creating social tensions on the reservation issue and asked it to ensure that merit was not squeezed while implementing the quota regime.

"The BJP had supported the Constitution amendment to provide reservations in higher educational institutions. However, while doing so, any attempt at divisiveness must be avoided. Social fabric of the society must not be damaged," Singh said addressing the party national executive for the first time after taking over as party President in January this year.

Asserting that consensus building was a must for such initiatives, he alleged that the UPA Government has "failed on that score".

"The Government must ensure that while implementing reservations, the space for merit is not squeezed and excellence of institutions is not compromised. Efforts must be taken to ensure that the benefits of reservation must reach the most deprived amongst the socially deprived sections.

"The Government must ensure that the economically weaker sections of the upper caste are included in the benefits of reservation," he said.