New Delhi: Congress leader Janardan Dwivedi`s remarks on ending caste-based reservation and going for quota on economic criteria created a stir on Wednesday with SP stoutly opposing the proposal and BJP and SAD questioning its timing.
SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav said, "By suggesting replacing caste-based quota system with economic criteria, Congress is trying to end the social justice system in the country."
At a time when quota is the buzz word in politics, senior Congress leader Dwivedi has called for an end to reservation on caste lines and urged Rahul Gandhi to introduce quota for financially weaker sections, bringing all communities under its ambit.
"This (reservation on caste lines) should have come to an end. Why it did not happen so far was because vested interests got into the process," Dwivedi has said.
Advocating the continuation of the current system, Yadav said, "If a person is millionaire but if he belongs to SC or OBC, he cannot get respect in the society which very poor people from upper caste gets. So, this is the difference and whatever the present system is, it should continue."
Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, though supporting the suggestion of ending caste-based quota system, questioned the timing of the move.
"Why this move at this time? Though it is a very good idea but according to me, anything that is moved by Congress now and in the last six months it has only one agenda. They are targeting a particular group for votebank politics. They had 10 years, they could have done a lot, but they did nothing," she said.
BJP also chose to question the timing of the move saying the "revolutionary idea" should have come long ago.
"We want progress of all sections of society. But why this revolutionary idea came to Congress leader`s mind when the elections are round the corner? There was enough time with them earlier and it could have been debated on national platform," BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
Without rejecting the idea, he said, "We are always in favour giving opportunity for progress to whoever is economically or socially backward. There is a need for economic engineering as well as social engineering, but Congress leaders always come up such ideas during the elections only."