Patna: Accusing Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad of trying to turn the state assembly polls into a "battle between backwards and upper castes", BJP president Amit Shah today said his party was "committed" to the existing quotas and had no plans to tinker with it.
The RSS too said it firmly supports the existing reservation policy as enshrined in the Constitution and "condemned distortion" of the remarks of its chief Mohan
Bhagwat to create confusion about the organisation's view on the issue.
"BJP does not favour any change in the reservation policy, rather it supports the existing quota policy. We are committed to keeping inviolable these constitutional rights given to the dalits, tribals, backwards and others," Shah said addressing his first press conference here since the state assembly polls got underway.
BJP has been on the backfoot over Bhagwat's comments seeking a review of the quota policy despite the party and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi distancing from it.
Despite that, there has been no let up in attacks from both Nitish and Lalu who, rally after election rally, voiceapprehension about scrapping of quotas, a highly sensitive issue in post-Mandal Bihar.
Shah said both he and Modi have clarified that the existing reservation policy will stay and the BJP has no intention of fiddling with it.
The BJP president said Bhagwat never spoke about doing away with quotas.
Meanwhile, apparently apprehensive about caste polarisation in the state which could go against the BJP-led NDA, the RSS said, "Mohan Bhagwat's views on reservation policy has been presented (by critics) after distorting it...an attempt has been made to create confusion about the RSS's stand on reservation policy.
"The RSS condemns such efforts to distort Bhagwat's views to mislead the people and create confusion about its stand on reservation," Kshethra Karyawah (Regional Head), north-east, Mohan Singh said in a statement.
"The RSS firmly supports the reservation policy enshrined in the constitution," he said, adding "the issue should not be politicised."