Saharanpur, Dec 30: Hoping to woo Muslims voters in Uttar Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi was today out to hard sell Centre's decision on sub-quota for minorities and attacked the BSP and SP for “doing nothing” for the community when they were in power in the state.
The Congress promised that the quota could also increase in future and that minorities could be given 6 to 8 per cent reservation in government jobs in Uttar Pradesh if the party forms a government in the state.
Addressing a public rally in this minority-dominated district, Gandhi said that it was Congress which initiated the move for reservation for Muslims as it felt that they were not getting adequate opportunities.
“We implemented the Sachar Commission report.... Then we initiated the move for reservation. Prime Minister also took initiative. This will give you representation in education and jobs. We did it because we feel that we want to connect you,” said Gandhi.
Accusing Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav of “changing” their stance on Muslim reservation, he said they were in power in the state for a long time but made no such effort.
“Mayawati did nothing in five years. Mulayam Singh also made no effort. Now Mayawati says that we have asked the Centre to bring reservation.
“When the Prime Minister said there will be reservations (for minorities) then Mulayam Singh Yadav commented it is less. When you were Chief Minister why did you not do any such thing?” Gandhi asked.
The AICC general secretary also dared the SP chief to mention in his party's manifesto that he favours 18 per cent reservation for Muslims, as he is now saying.
“He will never do it. When asked by the scribes about reservation for Muslims, Mulayam Singh Yadav had maintained complete silence. He threw away Rashid Masood (former SP vice president) when he demanded reservation for Muslims. He (Mulayam) talks about you, but embraced Kalyan Singh to get benefit in elections,” Gandhi said.
Crediting Gandhi for the recent Union Cabinet nod to allow 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities from among the 27 per cent reservation for OBCs, party general secretary incharge for Uttar Pradesh Digvijay Singh said the share could also increase in future as per the findings of the caste survey.
He also promised that the minorities could be given 6 to 8 per cent reservation in government jobs in Uttar Pradesh.
Extending the argument of reservation, Singh said those castes among OBCs who have failed to benefit from the reservation could also be given reservation separately.
Gandhi also targeted the Mayawati government on corruption issue and the sacking of 16 ministers. “We have sent crores of rupees in many schemes. Where did the money go. Ministers (in the state) consumed it. There is a magical elephant in Lucknow. While ordinary elephants survive on grass, this magical elephant eats up your money.”
He said, “the elephant has eaten the money for five years and even digested it. Now Mayawati is changing the ministers. 16 ministers have been shifted, while only one month of the government is left.”