UP polls: RLD eyes Muslim votes; 8% quota in jobs

RLD chief and Union Minister Ajit Singh said Muslims accounted for 17-18 per cent of the state`s population.

New Delhi: Rashtriya Lok Dal, which recently became part of UPA, on Monday joined the race to woo Muslims promising eight per cent reservation to them in government jobs if voted to power in Uttar Pradesh.

RLD chief and Union Minister Ajit Singh said Muslims
accounted for 17-18 per cent of the state`s population and
according to Mandal Commission recommendations almost half of
the backward and minority population should get reservation in
government jobs.

"The Union government has announced the proposal for 4.5
per cent reservation for backward Muslims in central
government jobs... I believe Muslims in UP should get around
eight per cent reservation," he said.

"Almost 70 per cent Muslims in UP fall into the category
of backward groups. We are waiting for caste-based census to
decide the actual numbers. But established formula as per
Mandal Commission is to give reservation to half of the
backward population, which for UP should be around eight per
cent," Singh said.

He was interacting with reporters on the sidelines of
former BSP MLA Hazi Yakub Quraishi joining RLD.

A former Minister in Mayawati`s government, Quraishi
joined RLD along with his supporters.

In 2006, when he was a minister in Mulayam Singh
governmemnt, Quraishi had announced a Rs 51 crore reward on
the head of a Danish cartoonist who had allegedly made a
caricature of prophet Mohammad.

Asked whether the alliance is only to woo Muslims and
minorities, Singh said, "This development will help us
overthrow Mayawati`s rule in the state. We are eyeing all
sections of society to overthrow the present government and
minorities are an important segment."

Terming the BSP rule in UP as the most corrupt government
in the country, Singh said, "If Anna Hazare is looking forward
to organizing anti-corruption campaigns, he should come to UP.

He should focus his attention on Mayawati government."
He declined to comment on the number of seats his party
will contest in the state.

"We will decided on these things in future," he said.


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