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Home / India News / ‘Very dangerous’: Arvind Kejriwal sees a conspiracy in 10% quota move

‘Very dangerous’: Arvind Kejriwal sees a conspiracy in 10% quota move

Kejriwal tweeted a conspiracy theory that the government move wasn’t just aimed at helping the poor among general category aspirants for jobs and education but part of a far larger game plan to end caste-based reservations.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2019, 16:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal  during a rally  in north-east Delhi.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal during a rally in north-east Delhi. (HT file photo)

Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party had been among the first to welcome the government’s move to introduce 10 per cent quota for poor sections. But the AAP chief seems to be having second thoughts.

On Wednesday, he tweeted a conspiracy theory that the government move wasn’t just aimed at helping the poor among general category aspirants for jobs and education but part of a far larger game plan to end caste-based reservations.

“I had spoken with many people and most of them feel that this is a BJP strategy (to end caste-based reservations). It is very dangerous,” Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, agreeing with Gujarat legislator Jignesh Mevani’s view.

Watch: Who stands to benefit from 10% quota for poor 

Mevani had claimed to have interacted with some people from the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP, who had spoken of how 10 per cent quota could be a starting point for ending caste-based reservations.

Many people who responded to the tweets saw it as an attempt to rekindle a fear among beneficiaries of community-based quotas; scheduled caste, scheduled tribe and other backward classes.

When RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat was reported to have pitched for a review of existing reservation policies back in 2015, it had provided ammunition to Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) that fought and won the election as part of a grand alliance with Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and the Congress as partners. The three parties had then attacked the BJP for what they had called, was its “upper caste mindset”.

Also read | Lok Sabha nod to 10% quota for poorer sections: Will reservation help upper castes?

The controversy over Mohan Bhagwart’s remarks was widely seen to have contributed to the BJP’s defeat in the state election.

During a rally in Maharashtra’s Solapur on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured the public that rights of all sections are secure after Lok Sabha passed the 10 per cent quota Bill. He said the Bill is Parliament’s answer to those “spreading lies”.

As the Rajya Sabha witnessed uproar over the bill, the Prime Minister Rajya Sabha said the rights of the deprived sections, including the Dalits and the tribal people, will not be affected because of this bill, PTI reported.

He termed the the passage of the bill in the Lok Sabha as a “historic” step which seeks to uplift the deprived sections.

The 10 per cent quota covers nearly 190 million people from the general category and is seen as an effort by the BJP-led national coalition to reach out to upper caste groups and once-dominant agrarian communities such as the Patidars, Jats, Gujjars and Marathas who have been lobbying for reservation.

The upper castes have a significant share in population in northern and central India states such as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and others. The Jats and Gujjars dominate Haryana, Rajasthan and western Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress, which had expressed reservations at the government pushing the bill without getting a parliamentary panel to study the law, also voted in favour of introducing the reservation.

Also read | 10% quota for poor was your jumla: Arun Jaitley’s comeback to Congress in Lok Sabha

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