HOURS BEFORE the Constitution Amendment Bill to provide 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections in the general category was passed in the Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Opposition in two separate speeches Wednesday in UP and Maharashtra of “spreading lies” about the legislation and said the new quota would not cut into the share of Dalits, tribals and OBCs.
Modi also referred to Opposition allegations over the timing of the Bill, and said they reinforced his push to hold simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.
“I had been saying that if somebody promises reservation above 50 per cent, they are dishonest. Because it could not be done beyond 50 per cent without a Constitution amendment… I am happy that what I had said as Chief Minister (of Gujarat), I have executed as Prime Minister with this Constitution amendment,” PM said while addressing a public meeting in Agra.
“Without cutting from the shares of Dalits, tribals and OBCs, I have shown concern for the poor children of upper castes of the country by making the additional Constitution amendment,” he said.
Referring to allegations that the Bill was introduced with an eye on the Lok Sabha polls, Modi said: “Do six months pass without an election in any part of the country? If I had done this three months earlier, it would have been said that the move has been taken ahead of the elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh… In India, elections occur at least twice in a year, in some part of the country, and hence I say Lok Sabha and Assembly elections should be held simultaneously, once in five years.”
Earlier, addressing a gathering in Solapur, Modi said the smooth passage of the quota Bill in the Lok Sabha was a “strong reply” by Parliament to those “spreading lies” and stressed that the government’s move was in line with its “mantra of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas”.
“Last night, the Lok Sabha passed a historic Bill. By approving 10 per cent reservation for poor from the general category, it has strengthened the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. The BJP wants to ensure that every category of people get an opportunity to move ahead,” he said.
Modi said that “some people in the name of reservation were trying to take something out of the quota given to Dalits, tribals, OBCs, and some were bent on doing minority politics. We have shown them that nobody can take out anything from the quota of Dalits, tribals, OBCs… ,” he said.
“Those who tried to spread lies, the Parliament gave a befitting reply yesterday, gave them a tight slap on their face. They will have no strength to spread lies,” Modi said.