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Quota for OBCs has Samajwadi Party’s backing: Arjun Singh

Monday 29 May 2006

NEW DELHI, MAY 28 (PTI): Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh today dismissed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav’s charge that the proposed reservation for OBCs was a "vote catching ploy" of the Congress and said it has the backing of the Samajwadi Party.

In a letter to Yadav, who had said on Friday that the Union Minister should be prosecuted for violating the model code of conduct for polls, Singh said, "As far as I remember, I have not done any crime.

"In few people’s eyes, I have done a crime, that is to secure a consensus across the political spectrum for the passage of the Constitutional Amendment Bill to provide reservation for SC/ST and OBCs in higher educational insitutions," he said.

Singh said this bill also had the backing of Yadav’s Samajwadi Party.

"It is not clear on which charges you want me to be sent to jail," Singh said.

He said he was travelling to Saudi Arabia tomorrow for a week and on his return, he would try to understand on what charges he should be sent to jail.

Addressing the Samajwadi Party’s Mahila Sabha in Lucknow on Friday, Yadav has said, "If an FIR can be lodged against PWD minister Shivpal Singh Yadav just for assuring the public of developmental works in the event of the party’s victory in the Rae Bareli (Lok Sabha) by-poll, HRD Minister Arjun Singh should have been sent to jail for proposing reservations for OBCs in the midst of assembly elections in five states".

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