It is in the DNA of the BJP and the RSS to try to erase reservations and a “big conspiracy” is underway to take away the rights of deprived sections, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Monday and asserted that his party will not allow doing away with quota.
Taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, he said, “We will not allow reservation to be done away with, no matter how much Modi Ji or Mohan Bhagwat dream of it.”
Speaking with reporters outside Parliament, Gandhi slammed the BJP government of Uttarakhand for contending in the Supreme Court that there was no fundamental right to claim reservation in appointments or promotions in public posts, and there was no constitutional duty on the part of the state governments to provide reservations.
In a tweet, the former Congress president said the BJP government is making a statement in the Supreme Court against the constitutional right of reservation.
“These rights were acquired through great struggles and sacrifices so that India can become a better nation. Today, there is a big conspiracy to take away the rights of the deprived sections one by one. What could be bigger treason than this?” he said.
The ideology of the RSS and the BJP is against reservation, he told reporters.
The RSS and the BJP cannot stand the idea that Dalits, tribals and OBCs have reservations, Gandhi alleged.
“They (the RSS and BJP) wake up every morning and this (reservation) irritates them. Except it is in our Constitution, and these rights are guaranteed by our Constitution,” he said.
They have attempted to remove reservation in one way or the other, he alleged and cited the examples of demolition of the Ravidas temple and the government’s actions on the SC/ST sub-plan.
“You have seen that they are arguing (in court) that it (reservation) is not a fundamental right. So it is their DNA to try and erase it,” Gandhi said.
It is a strategy of the BJP and their way of trying to end reservation, he said on the Uttarakhand government’s arguments in the Supreme Court.
The BJP and the RSS don’t want the SC/STs to progress, he claimed.
His remarks come after the Supreme Court has held that states are not bound to provide reservation in appointments and there is no fundamental right to claim quota in promotions.
“Reservation is an important part of the Constitution. The main thing is that there is an assault on the Constitution. All institutions are being destroyed, we are not allowed to speak in Parliament and judiciary is pressured. So institutional structures are being destroyed and the main pillars of our Constitution taken down one by one,” Gandhi said.
“We will not allow reservation to be done away with no matter how much Modi ji or Mohan Bhagwat dream of it,” he said.
The Congress on Sunday had said it disagreed with the Supreme Court’s decision and alleged that the rights of SC/ST communities are under threat during the BJP rule.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters, Congress general secretary Mukul Wasnik had said the party will raise the issue inside and outside Parliament.
“In view of the law laid down by this court, there is no doubt that the state government is not bound to make reservations. There is no fundamental right which inheres in an individual to claim reservation in promotions,” a bench of justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta said.