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Sidhu calls reservation policy a failure

The BJP MP said the proposed policy rarely benefited the disadvantaged sections.

india Updated: May 30, 2006 23:11 IST

With his party walking a tightrope on the volatile quota issue, BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu on Tuesday branded the country's reservation policy a failure insisting it rarely benefited the disadvantaged sections.

Sidhu, who had joined the medicos in protesting Centre's proposals to reserve seats for OBC candidates in higher educational establishments, maintained that there should be no compromise with merit.

"I am not against reservation but the problem lies with the policy. And I also believe merit should be protected at all costs," he said after the BJP's national executive meeting.

Nevertheless, he opposed seat quotas for the rich among the reserved categories.

"Why should an income tax payee be eligible for reservation benefits? In my view, the country needs to review its overall reservation policy, which has been a failure as it has not benefited the downtrodden," Sidhu said.

The Amritsar MP emphasised that the issue should be dealt with as a subject of serious debate.

"Good intentions die if they are not executed," the cricket commentator, popular for his witty "Sidhuisms", remarked.

Sidhu was reportedly asked by the party to exercise restraint on the quota issue after he joined medical students protesting the quota proposals.