Pushed to the back foot over RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s suggestion that the reservation policy should be reviewed, BJP president Amit Shah Wednesday made it clear that “reservation is here to stay”.
With Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad using Bhagwat’s remarks to attack the BJP in the run-up to the Bihar assembly polls, Shah sought to put the matter to rest, saying: “BJP was in favour of reservation before, it is in favour of reservation now. There is no question of any change and reservation is here to stay. Lalu and Nitish have been spreading canards about reservation and trying to digress political discourse from development.”
Shah was addressing party workers from 10 districts in Begusarai.
Sources said the BJP has asked its ground-level workers to actively clarify the party’s stand on reservation in the wake of Bhagwat’s remarks. In the last one week, Union Minister Giriraj Singh has on two occasions said that there would “not be any upper caste chief minister” in the state.
Shah also directly attacked Lalu, who recently challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “end reservation”.
“Social justice means only family to Lalu. He cannot think beyond his family, and launching his poll campaign from Raghopur, which will go to polls in the third phase, proves he is thinking only of his family,” Shah said. Lalu’s son Tejaswi Yadav is contesting from Raghopur.
Shah added, “Nitish had become our alliance partner invoking Lalu’s misrule, but now he is in the company of the same person.”
Addressing party workers, Shah said, “While there will be an overwhelming victory for the NDA, the BJP will get a majority on its own. The party does not win because of any individual or wave but because of the hard work of its workers.”
Referring to former prime minister Manmohan Singh as “mauni baba”, Shah also said Modi’s foreign trips were creating a buzz, unlike the “tepid response” Singh’s international trips received.