New Delhi: Congress on Monday came up with a
guarded response to the demand for reservation to Muslims
saying it is a "sensitive" matter but promised to enhance
their participation in government employment and education on
the basis of their social and economic backwardness.
"It is a very sensitive issue. When we come to a
conclusion, we will let you know...Muslims are demanding it
for a long time. The moment the government takes a decision on
it, we will tell you," party spokesperson Rashid Alvi said.
He was replying to questions on whether the Congress has
made up its mind on the issue of reservation to Muslims as
When reminded that the Congress manifesto promises to
adopt the model of reservations for Muslims on the lines of
what has been done in Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh,
Alvi merely said, "We have made many committments in the
manifesto. It is one of them and it is our commitment to
implement our manifesto."
He said the UPA government has taken many steps for the
welfare of minorities and counted scholarship as a major step
towards their development.
The party manfiesto released during the 2009 Lok Sabha
elections said, "Congress has pioneered reservations for
minorities in Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in
government employment and education on the basis of their
social and economic backwardness. We are committed to adopt
this policy at the national level."
Congress is targeting big in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly
elections next year and is hoping for a repeat of groundswell
in the support of minorities for the party as was witnessed in
the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
A leader in the party, however, clarified that any over
enthusiastic approach on reservations to the Muslim community
as a whole could end up benefitting BJP on communal lines.