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Monday, December 4, 2023

Muslim quota: Will Cong cut Vokkaliga, Lingayats’ reservation, asks Amit Shah

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Hubballi: Union Minister and BJP’s Chief Electoral Strategist Amit Shah has asked Congress whether they would reduce Vokkaliga or Lingayats reservation percentage for reinstating four percent reservation quota for Muslims.

“I want to ask them (Congress) with utmost humility as to whose (percentage of reservation quota) will you reduce to bring it (4 percent reservation quota for Muslims) back? Whether you will reduce Vokkaligas or Lingayats or Dalits or STs (percentage of reservation quota). Congress will have to come out clear on this,” he told reporters here on Monday.

“We are ready to give them (Muslims) reservation even today. And we are giving under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) reservation quota, but no one should be given reservation based on religion. It is the fundamental spirit of the Constitution,” he said.

In the runup to May 10 assembly election in the state, Basavaraj Bommai led government scrapped four per cent reservation for Muslims under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota and shifted the community to the EWS category, and distributed it equally among the dominant Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities.

Earlier, the government increased reservation for SCs from 15 per cent to 17 per cent and for STs from 3 per cent to 7 per cent, taking the total reservation in Karnataka to 56 percent, exceeding the 50 per cent cap, and recommended to the Centre to bring it under the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution.

Asked about the BJP giving tickets to family members of its leaders while accusing JDS of Pariwarvaad (dynastic), Shah said BJP is not controlled by any one family, unlike other rival parties that are controlled by members of one family members.

“Tell me someone who is not contesting polls in the JDS family (Deve Gowda family), other than one or two. At many places family members of party karyakartas may contest polls, but it doesn’t mean BJP follows parivarwaad.

“Dynastic politics means members of one family controlling the party. BJP is not controlled by one family member. BJP has always been against Pariwarvaad,” he clarified.

On BJP not giving any ticket to Muslims, Shah said the party does not believe in the concept of majority and minority, and it gives tickets to aspirants on the basis of merit and winnibility.

Asked about Congress seeking support from SDPI, Shah said secure and safe Karnataka is unimportant for the Congress, for them winning elections is important. “But, BJP will not tie up with such parties,” he said.

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