Debating India

RAJASTHAN

Speed up OBC quota plan: Bhujbal

Tuesday 22 August 2006

Special Correspondent

Opposition from the forward castes expected, says NCP leader

OBCs put together is 54 per cent of the population Commission sought to monitor OBC reservation

JAIPUR: Maharashtra’s Public Works Department Minister Chagan Bhujbal has asked the United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre to speed up the move to ensure reservation for backward classes in Central education institutions and professional colleges. "The UPA is going about it in a phased manner. We want it to be done immediately so that social justice is done," he said.

Mr.Bhujbal, who was here on the first day of his two-day trip to Rajasthan on Monday, said the opposition from the forward castes to the move for reservations to the OBCs was only to be expected. "After being there in important positions and controlling resources for centuries, they don’t want others to reach that level," he said.

"All OBCs put together is 54 per cent of the population of the country. We are asking for only 27 per cent reservation," he added.

The Nationalist Congress Party strongman challenged reports of suicides by youths protesting against reservations, terming them as murders engineered as if in a stage show. "We have tried to find out the truth behind the latest of the self-immolation attempts made by a paan shop owner. It is unfortunate that the media is not giving out the truth," he said.

Mr. Bhujbal sought appointment of a commission on the lines of the Union Public Service Commission to monitor OBC reservations at the national level. "Reservations for the OBCs are nothing new. It is there in the Constitution. Babasaheb Ambedkar and the other authors of the Constitution had devised it that way," he said. "We are not against reservations based on economic status but there should be social justice first."

Mr.Bhujbal said the All India Mahatma Jyotibha Phule Samata Parishad, which is having its national convention in Pushkar town of Ajmer district on Tuesday, would extend all support to the Government to implement the decision on OBC reservation. He demanded installation of a statue of Mahatma Jyotibha Phule at Parliament House.

Mr. Bhujbal refused to talk about the controversy involving former External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh. Asked about the security scenario in Mumbai in the wake of the blasts, he said no threats could deter the Mumbaites from working for the economic progress of the nation.

He said the groups involved in the blasts were being identified.

See online : The Hindu

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