A day after RJD national vice-president Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said the party made a “mistake” by voting against the 10 per cent quota for EWS in general category in Parliament, Leader of Opposition in Assembly Tejashwi Yadav said his party “had not been against quota for the poor among upper caste but against the rich among them”.
Taking questions on ‘Tejashwi Ki Chaupal’ on Twitter, Tejashwi said: “We are not against quota for the poor among upper caste. Can a person earning Rs 8 lakh per year be called poor? If he is poor, why is he paying income tax? Had it been for salary bracket of Rs 25,000 per month, it could have been justified.” He added that the RJD had been against the “manner in which the quota was brought without any data”.
He said the Opposition had been trying to confuse people on the RJD’s stand on reservation in general category. “We have a galaxy of upper caste leaders such as Jagdanand Singh, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Shivanand Tewary,” he said.
He said reservation had less to do with economic parity and more with social parity.”Why is a Dalit still denied permission in certain temples? Why cannot they ride horses during their marriages?” asked Tejashwi.
Asked what he would choose between development and casteism, Tejashwi said: “Of course, development. We have always done politics around welfare of the poor. But I want to know who has brought casteism. Why has there been sarsanghchalak of a particular caste in the RSS? Why is there a surfeit in the Union ministry of people from a particular caste?”
To a question whether the RJD would waive farmer loans if voted to power in 2020, he said: “We will not just waive loans of farmers but also find ways to increase income of farmers.” To another question, he said the RJD would see if other recommendations of Mandal Commission could be also implemented.