Will the Congress have to pay a political price for the Supreme Court’s verdict declining to vacate the stay on the implementation of the 27 per cent OBC quota in central educational institutions? There are apprehensions of this, particularly after its debacle in the recent municipal council elections in Delhi even though the sealings and demolitions carried out in the Capital were done at the Court’s behest.
But leaders like Digvijay Singh do not believe that it will have any political implication on the party. "The government’s intention to address the concerns of the OBCs is now known," he said.
However, he indicated, the party could go to the people to "explain" that its intention was to address the concerns of the OBCs but the apex court’s ruling has come in the way. But when quizzed whether a plan was being chalked out to convey the message, he maintained that it was for the party to decide.
The decision to weave quotas into educational institutes was seen as a political move on the Centre’s part to try and steer the OBCs - who have so far remained resistant - into the Congress camp. But party leaders denied any political motive to the move. The purpose, they claimed, was purely social and an expression of the UPA’s "social obligation" towards the weaker section.
Officially, the party refused to react to the court order. "We want to study the contents of the order before coming out with our view," said spokesman Satyavrat Chaturvedi.
He played it safe by refusing to blame either the Government for not doing its homework properly or the Court for not vacating the stay. He refused to buy the observation that the Supreme Court was biased in favour of upper caste. "I would suggest not to make such insinuations against the court," he said.
But privately Congress leaders have a different take on the matter. "People have not been able to understand why does the Court’s decisions go against the underprivileged and the deprived sections," said a well-placed leader, adding that he was not attributing any motives to anyone.