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LJP?s Muslim quota pitch gets louder

Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) has made a strong case for providing reservations to Muslims, reports Hemendra Singh Bartwal.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2006 02:10 IST

Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) has made a strong case for providing reservations to Muslims — not just in government jobs but in the private sector and in the security establishment too.

At a meeting of the LJP's national executive on Tuesday, a day before the party's international conference on Dalits and minorities, it passed a political resolution demanding that Muslims be given reservation in government jobs in proportion to their population. That alone would help improve the economic, social and educational condition of Muslims, the resolution said.

Appreciating the Sachar Committee report on the state of Muslims, the party called for a time-bound policy of increasing the community's representation in government services, banks and public and private sector oganisations.

"The Dalit and minority issue is on the national agenda. No one can ignore it any longer," party chief and union minister Paswan said at the meeting.

The need of the hour was to bring Dalits and minorities together to forge a power centre, he said, and the international conference was being organised to create wider social awareness on the issue.

The two-day conference in the Parliament House complex will be a high-profile affair with several top ministers of the UPA government addressing the participants during different sessions. The meet, which comes ahead of the crucial UP assembly elections, is obviously important for the UPA.

Besides Manmohan Singh, who will inaugurate the conference, two former prime ministers, VP Singh and IK Gujral, will attend the inaugural session. Cabinet ministers Shivraj Patil, Pranab Mukherjee, Arjun Singh, Meira Kumar, Sushil Kumar Shinde, AR Antulay and Saifuddin Soz will attend the meeting.

Several eminent members from the Dalit and Muslim communities are expected to attend the conference. On day one, the conference is slated to discuss Dalit reservations after the presentation of a paper on the subject. A comprehensive paper on quota for minorities, particularly Muslims, will be presented on the second day to be followed by another round of discussions.

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First Published: Dec 27, 2006 02:10 IST