Amid the ongoing demand for Maratha quota in jobs, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that reservation will not guarantee employment as jobs are shrinking in the country. Talking to reporters in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district, Gadkari was quoted by PTI as saying, “Let us assume the reservation is given. But there are no jobs. Because in banks, the jobs have shrunk because of IT. The government recruitment is frozen. Where are the jobs?”
Adding that “backwardness is becoming a political interest,” the BJP leader said, “Everyone says I am backward. In Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Brahmins are strong. They dominate politics. (And) They say they are backward. So one school of thought is that a poor is poor, he has no caste, creed or language. Whatever may be the religion — the Muslim, the Hindu or the Maratha (a caste), in all communities there is one section which has no clothes to wear, no food to eat. One school of thought also is (that) we must also consider the poorest of the poor section in every community.” This is a “socio-economic thinking” and it must not be politicised, he added.
In a tweet later, Gadkari clarified that the government is not planning to change the criteria for reservation from “castes to economic conditions.”
My attention has been drawn to certain media reports attributed to me. There is absolutely no thinking at the central government to change the reservation criteria from castes to economic conditions.
— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) August 4, 2018
Urging the agitators to maintain peace, Gadkari said that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is trying to resolve the Maratha reservation demand by holding talks with the concerned parties. “The government is committed to Maratha reservation in a time-bound manner. It is our endeavour to ensure that when enforced, the reservation would be full proof and withstand constitutional and legal scrutiny,” Fadnavis said earlier. A total of seven people have been reported dead in the state in the last two weeks in connection with the quota agitation.
The development, the industrialisation and the good prices for rural produce would ease the economic distress that the Maratha community is suffering from, Gadkari said. “The responsible political parties must not add fuel to the fire,” he added.
(With inputs from PTI)