Gujarat elections 2017: PM Narendra Modi mocks Congress's Patidar reservation deal, cites broken Muslim quota promises
The BJP has persistently targeted the promises reportedly made by the Congress to PAAS.
- PM Modi pointed out Congress's broken promises on reservation for Muslims
- BJP has repeatedly underscored Constitutional cap of 50% on reservations
- Comments aimed at weakening consolidation on Congress side
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took shots at the Congress over its reported promises of reservation to the Patidar community. Addressing an election rally in Gujarat even as part of the state voted in the first phase, he accused the Congress of failing to keep similar promises to communities in other states.
"Congress promised reservation to Muslims in various states. Has it been able to fulfil the promise?" PM Modi asked at a campaign rally, PTI reported.
The BJP has persistently targeted the promises reportedly made by the Congress to the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), the community organisation led by Hardik Patel. The details of an alleged reservation deal between the Congress and PAAS have not been made public.
Modi also sought to undermine the Congress's attempts to consolidate the OBC vote in its favour by aligning with community youth leader Alpesh Thakor. What does the Congress do with their numbers in the Rajya Sabha? Stall the OBC Commission from getting a Constitutional status," he said in his speech.
Congress's has attempted to consolidate an anti-BJP sentiment among some sections in Gujarat by bringing three youth leaders under its umbrella - Patidar leader Hardik Patel, OBC leader Alpesh Thakor and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani. All three have taken stridently anti-BJP stances in the run-up to the elections.
Earlier in the day, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley too had attacked the reservation promise as 'Constitutionally impossible'. In a Facebook post lashing out at the Congress's poll platform, Jaitley recounted Supreme Court judgements that have underlined that reservations cannot exceed 50 percent.
"A promise of reservations beyond 50 percent has been made by the Congress and the PAAS to the people of Gujarat. This act of self-deception is a constitutional impossibility - which will never be judicially permissible," Jaitley said.