No rethink on reservation policy, says Arun Jaitley

NEW DELHI(PTI): The clarification comes after the RSS statement that demand for reservation by the affluent sections of society only reflected deviation from the spirit of the Constitution.

With the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh saying there should be no reservation in jobs and education for the affluent, the government on Monday said there was no rethink on the present social and caste-based reservation policy and it would continue.

“It is the stated policy of the government that present arrangement of reservation will be maintained,” Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in response to SP and BSP members raising concern over remarks by some RSS leaders on Sunday.

The RSS, Mr. Jaitley said, “has also not talked” of scrapping or changing the present reservation policy.

Earlier, Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) alleged a conspiracy in doing away with the present reservation system.

Mayawati (BSP) said the Constitution had clearly defined the criteria for giving reservation to SC/ST and OBCs and now RSS functionaries were talking of the quota being based on economic criteria.

She was referring to RSS general secretary Suresh Joshi’s remark at the organisation’s camp at Nagaur in Rajasthan yesterday.

Mr. Jaitley responded, saying “he has not said that.”

Soon after listed papers of the day were laid on the table, Opposition members led by SP, BSP and JD(U) were up on their feet raising the issue.

Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said the Chairman has disallowed a notice under rule 267 by Naresh Agarwal (SP) seeking suspension of business to take up the issue.

When members persisted with the issue, he said the RSS is a private organisation. “Why are you worried about that.”

While Ram Gopal Yadav said there was no difference between the RSS and the government, Mayawati said statements on the quota issue had been made since the BJP came to power.

Responding to this, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it was a clear view of the government that “reservation should continue” and the “RSS has not talked about scrapping it.”

“There is no question of removing reservation for SC/ST. The RSS has also called for strengthening of reservation, not ending it,” he said.

Mr. Kurien said the government had given an assurance and the House should carry on with the listed business.