New Delhi: The promise of 9 per cent reservation for backward Muslims in Uttar Pradesh may not be explicit in the Congress manifesto that would be released on Tuesday but the party will give unmistakable signal in that regard.
This is being done to steer clear of any controversy in the backdrop of the Election Commission earlier issuing notice to Law Minister Salman Khurshid over his statement earlier that the party will give 9 per cent reservation to backward minorities in Uttar Pradesh if it came to power.
The statement by Law Minister Salman Khurshid had kicked up a political storm. The EC had also put on hold the implementation of the Centre`s decision to give 4.5 per cent reservation of backward minorities in central government jobs and admissions from the earmarked quota of 27 per cent reservation for OBCs.
That the party will be playing safe on this contentious issue was also clear from its "Vision Document 2020" for Uttar Pradesh released on January 27 in which it steered clear of the figure. The document though mentioned a promise to give reservation to minorities; it did not specify the quantum.
The Vision Document promised sub-quota for Most Backward Classes (MBC) in government jobs, educational institutions and panchayats in UP and also a special focus on "Ati-Dalits" (extremely deprived) besides "exploring" a sub-quota for them.
Sources said that the manifesto may stress the party`s commitment that the backward status of minorities in UP will be dealt in a priority manner in five years and that it will ensure that "every minority" of UP has better access to education, health and employment opportunities.
Without mentioning any figure, the manifesto is likely to say that the party could introduce quota/ reservation for the MBCs within the OBC category and bring a proposal to have a quota/reservation for the Mahadalits to give them more opportunities in education and jobs.