Nearly three months after the Patidars launched a stir for OBC status, Congress on Thursday announced support for the movement, demanding nationwide reservation to 15-20 per cent population from the economically weaker sections (EWS).
“After deliberations, the AICC has decided to support the agitation. The demands are justified. The party strongly believes 15-20 per cent EWS across castes should get reservation benefits,” Congress general secretary Gurudas Kamat said at a press conference at the party office.
Kamat said not only would the party ask the Gujarat government to fulfill the Patidar demands, but would also seek that these benefits be extended across the country. If the government fails to meet the demands, the party will join the Patidar stir, he said. “If the Modi government does not agree to our demands, we will call for an agitation.”
Kamat promised the Congress would try its best to ensure that the poor from all communities get quota benefits if it comes to power. When asked about the SC ruling that limits reservation to 49 per cent, he said it is up to the government to convince the apex court.
On RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s call to review the existing quota system, Kamat said, “It is out in the open that both BJP and RSS want to dilute the existing reservation policy, which Congress party will never allow.”