Patna: Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Salman Khurshid on Saturday categorically stated that reservation cannot be extended on the basis of religion or caste but only on the criterion of backwardness.
Khurshid, who was speaking to reporters here, hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for accusing Bihar`s grand secular alliance of plotting to take away five percent share reservation for SC/ST/OBCs and giving it to 'a particular community'.
"I can understand such utterances (on conspiracy to provide sub-quota to minorities) from a person who does not know either government functioning or Constitution, but I cannot expect such things from the prime minister," he said.
"There is no provision in the law for providing reservation on the basis of caste or religion. He (PM) should not have talked such wrong things in public meetings," Khurshid said.
Asked whether he advocated sub-quota for Muslims, Khurshid said "Give it, if it is possible you can. It cannot be given on the basis of religion or caste. Supreme Court has clearly defined that backwardness would be the sole criterion for getting quota benefit. If anyone is a backward, he/she would get the benefit of quota."
In a reply to a query regarding BJP president Amit Shah's statement of firecrackers would be burst in Pakistan if NDA loses polls in Bihar, he wondered why would celebrations be held anywhere else. "If there has to be celebrations it would be here only in India."
"Those who are talking about Pakistan should go there to fight elections," he said.
The Prime Minister, Khurshid said, is behaving more like a "small time leader". "Narendra Modi is the Prime Minister of the country. He is our PM but he behaves like a PM of a particular party."
Modi has undertaken whirlwind tours of Bihar which no PM has ever done before in any state holding polls, he said and took a swipe "The PM must be doing hard work to protect his job."
Claiming that there is "clear cut environment" in favour of the grand secular alliance, he said the state assembly election is being fought to protect the pride and future of Bihar and of the country.