Kanpur: In a desperate attempt to woo Muslim voters in the upcoming Assembly Elections in Uttar Pradesh, Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday announced that the government will bring the reservation for minorities soon.
Speaking at a public rally in Kanpur along with Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, Khurshid said, “Government is serious about bringing reservation for minorities. A decision in this regard will be taken soon.”
Maintaining that the government must fulfil the promises it made, Khurshid had earlier said, "We are elected to do what we promised. Before the five years are out, we must fulfil our promises."
Khurshid had said the government would soon take a decision on providing reservation for "backward Muslims" by including them in the 27 per cent OBC quota and a proposal in this regard would soon come up before Cabinet.
However, Khurshid has assured the OBC communities that they will not be deprived of their rights even if backward Muslims are accommodated in the 27 per cent quota fixed for them.
Meanwhile, VHP has said that it would launch a nationwide agitation against the Centre's proposed move.
"The Central government's proposal is not acceptable at any cost because the Constitution does not allow religion- based reservation," VHP's international general secretary Praveen Togadia has said.
VHP leaders from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have converged in Rishikesh and the final strategy for the nationwide agitation on the issue would be taken soon, he said.
Togadia said the Andhra Pradesh government and Aligarh Muslim University had also made similar attempts in the past but their decisions were struck down by the High Courts concerned.
Moreover, the VHP leader said, the basis of reservation under OBC is caste and Islam does not believe in casteism.
"If the Muslims accept reservation under OBC, it would also mean that they are accepting caste system like Hindus and in that case, the Muslims should embrace the Hindu religion by renouncing Islam," Togadia said.
Referring to reservation for Christians, he said, the VHP demands to exclude Christians from Scheduled Tribe category under which they are getting reservation.
First Published: Saturday, December 17, 2011, 21:38