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BJP against backdoor quota for minorities in women`s bill

Last Updated: Saturday, March 20, 2010 - 18:59

New Delhi: Former BJP President Rajnath
Singh has said his party would withdraw support to the Women`s
Reservation Bill during its passage in the Lok Sabha if the
Government tried "backdoor" reservation for minorities in the
measure.

"The BJP is clear that the strength of the Bill is its
non-communal nature. This country was once divided on the
basis of religion.

"The BJP will not support the Bill if the Government
tries backdoor representation for Muslims (in Parliament),"
Singh told `The Week` news magazine in an interview.

BJP has credited itself with helping the UPA Government
pass the legislation in the Rajya Sabha.

"(NCP chief) Sharad Pawar had reportedly appealed to
(JD-U chief) Sharad Yadav, (RJD chief) Lalu Prasad and (SP
supremo) Mulayam Singh Yadav to support the Bill in exchange
for reservation within the bill for Muslim women. I also hear
that the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi have agreed to that.

The BJP will oppose this approach totally," he said.
When asked whether opposing reservation for minorities
will "confirm" the alleged anti-Muslim bias of the BJP, Singh
said if his party was anti-minority, then it would not have
supported the Mandal Commission recommendations.

"Seventy per cent of beneficiaries of the recommendations
are Muslims. The BJP has supported whatever is necessary for
nation building," the BJP MP said.

Singh maintained that reservation within reservation for
minorities will be against the spirit of the Constitution and
said political, social, economic and cultural empowerment of
the masses with an "unbiased approach" was the only way out.

PTI

First Published: Saturday, March 20, 2010 - 18:59

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