New Delhi: The promise of 9 per cent
reservation for backward Muslims in Uttar Pradesh may not be
explicit in the Congress manifesto being released on Tuesday but
the party will give unmistakable signal in that regard.
This is being done to steer clear of any controversy in
the backdrop of the Election Commission earlier issuing notice
to Law Minister Salman Khurshid over his statement earlier
that the party will give 9 per cent reservation to backward
minorities in Uttar Pradesh if it came to power.
The statement by Law Minister Salman Khurshid had kicked
up a political storm. The EC had also put on hold the
implementation of the Centre`s decision to give 4.5 per cent
reservation of backward minorities in central goverment jobs
and admissions from the earmarked quota of 27 per cent
reservation for OBCs.
That the party will be playing safe on this contentious
issue was also clear from its "Vision Document 2020" for Uttar
Pradesh released on January 27 in which it steered clear of
the figure. The document though mentioned a promise to give
reservation to minorities, it did not specify the quantum.
The Vision Document promised sub-quota for Most
Backward Classes (MBC) in government jobs, educational
institutions and panchayats in UP and also a special focus on
"Ati-Dalits" (extremely deprived) besides "exploring" a
sub-quota for them.
Sources said that the manifesto may stress the party`s
commitment that the backward status of minorities in UP will
be dealt in a priority manner in five years and that it will
ensure that "every minority" of UP has better access to
education, health and employment opportunities.
Without mentioning any figure, the manifesto is likely to
say that the party could introduce quota/ reservation for the
MBCs within the OBC category and bring a proposal to have a
quota/reservation for the Mahadalits to give them more
opportunities in education and jobs.