Mumbai: Coming down heavily on women’s reservation, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that former prime minister Indira Gandhi proved her worth without any reservation and did better than any male leaders in the Congress. “Indira Gandhi proved her mettle in her party among other dedicated male leaders. Was it due to reservation?” Gadkari asked.

The Union Minsiter clarified his stand on women’s reservation, saying he was not opposed to women’s reservation, but was against politics based on caste and religion. He was speaking at the inauguration of an exhibition by women self-help groups (SHGs) in Nagpur on Sunday.

“I am not against women’s reservation. Women should get reservation. I am not opposed to it,” the BJP leader added. However, a person excels on the basis of knowledge and not because of language, caste, religion or region, he said.

Gadkari added female BJP leaders like Union Minister Sushma Swaraj, former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan did well in politics without any reservations.

“One makes progress on the basis of knowledge. Do we ask about the religion of Saibaba, Gajanan Maharaj or Sant Tukdoji Maharaj? Have we ever asked about the caste of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar or Jyotiba Phule? I am against politics based on caste and religion,” Gadkari said.