November 23, 2017 2:59:43 am
The Congress on Wednesday did not reveal the contours of how Patidars would get reservation, as promised to Hardik Patel, and merely said it would be within the framework of the Constitution. The perceived caginess prompted Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to call the Congress and Hardik a club of mutual deception.
Hardik, who is the spearhead of the Patidar quota agitation, said the Congress has decided to provide quota to communities which have not got the benefit of reservation so far under Article 31(C) and Article 46 of the Constitution. Jaitley, however, said that breaching the 50 per cent reservation cap was “legally and constitutionally” not possible as the law stands today.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal, entrusted with holding discussions with Patidar leaders to arrive at a mutually agreeable formula, was reluctant to reveal details. Asked whether it was legally and constitutionally possible to breach the 50 per cent cap, Sibal said: “You will get to know everything. These things will be decided. The first goal is to struggle and win the elections and after that we have to implement the promises made…. We have given a suggestion and certainly we have thought through it before giving the suggestion…. This reply is enough.”
Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said the promised quota will be “within the constitutional framework and will be fully in conformity with constitutional principles.” Jaitley said in reaction that the “Congress-Hardik club is one of mutual deception”. “The law of the land is very clear and that is laid down by the Supreme Court and only last week in the Rajasthan case it has been re-affirmed that the 50 per cent cap cannot be breached. So they can continue to deceive each other and deceive the public by saying that they will devise a methodology of breaching the cap. Legally and constitutionally, that is not possible as the law stands today,” he said.
Referring to Patel’s remark, Jaitley said “You can cite Article 31 (C) and say we will put in the Ninth Schedule but that entry into the Ninth Schedule is also subject to judicial review which is subject to the challenge on basic structure.” He said in elections “only those promises can be made to each other and to the public which are capable of implementation. Otherwise, you deceive yourself and you deceive your constituents.”
Singhvi accused the BJP of fooling people. “If you want to see who has fooled whom, you go and see it in Rajasthan. The BJP is a ruling party there. It fools people every day. Sometimes they talk about Jat reservation, sometimes Gujjar reservation. They are in power, they can fulfil the promise, yet they don’t,” he told reporters in Delhi.
FIR against Hardik and associates
Police have filed an FIR against Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel and his associates Dinesh Bambhaniya, Dharmesh Patel, Dilip Patel, Atul Patel, Gopal Italia, among others for organising a public event at Mansa village in Gandhinagar on Saturday without permission from the police.
The FIR was lodged the same day, but the police didn’t prevent PAAS leaders for organising the event, fearing law and order problem. The district collector, Hardik claimed, had granted them permission which was cancelled on the day of event.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.