Toeing a line different from that of his party on the women's bill, senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde has said that there should be quota for OBC women in assemblies and the Lok Sabha and he will press his party to take this view. Though he described this as his "personal opinion", Munde said "I will persevere to have my party take this view."
Addressing a gathering of OBC leaders of Maharashtra, he said, "There is a demand by the OBC community to have an OBC reservation in the Women's Reservation Bill. I have conveyed that BJP has a different stand on this issue, but I have assured them that I will put forth this demand to my party."
While the BJP and Left parties supported the UPA government in passing the women's reservation bill reserving 33 per cent seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies, parties like RJD and SP staunchly opposed it.
The BJP is against any quota within quota in the Bill. Munde's statement at the function that he was willing to work under the leadership of NCP's Chhagan Bhujbal for the rights of OBCs has created also a buzz in state's political circles.Sharing the dais with Bhujbal, he also demanded that other backward classes count be included during the ongoing census exercise."OBC count should be included in the census. It was not being done because some people fear OBCs will come together once they know their true strength," Munde said.
There are 340 castes among the OBCs, who constitute nearly 54 per cent of the country's population. There is a need for the OBC census, Bhujbal said. Munde shared the stage with Bhujbal a week after he remarked that he should have stayed with the RSS instead of graduating to Jan Sangh during Emergency days. PTI