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Divisions in BJP over quota issue

Divisions appeared within the BJP over the party's stand on the controversial reservation issue.

india Updated: May 30, 2006 13:18 IST

Divisions appeared on Tuesday within the BJP national executive over the party's stand on the controversial reservation issue even as the draft political resolution supported OBC quotas in higher educational institutions while suggesting the creamy layer be kept out.

Former Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and BJP legislature party leader in Maharashtra Gopinath Munde maintained that the party's stand was "confusing" and "sending wrong signals", party sources said.

The stand could harm the party's interests in south India where OBCs have a substantial population, the sources quoted the Andhra Pradesh leader as having said.

Some leaders are also understood to have demanded action against some central leaders, including VK Malhotra and Sushma Swaraj, for visiting the agitating medicos and taking sides with the anti-reservationists.

However, journalist-turned-party leader Arun Shourie is understood to have opposed reservation in toto.

Nevertheless, the party adopted a political resolution endorsing what party President Rajnath Singh had said on quotas in his inaugural address yesterday.

Trying to tread a middle path on the controversial issue, the draft resolution 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 Constitutional 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," it said.

First Published: May 30, 2006 13:18 IST