BJP won’t tolerate religion-based quota: Uma Bharti


    New Delhi, (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Uma Bharti Wednesday accused the Congress of a “bigoted mentality” for talking of “religion-based reservation” ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elecgtions and said her party would not tolerate it.

    Uma Bharti, a former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, said here that the Muslim community should also oppose the proposal as it was “against the basic tenets of Islam”.

    “Islam does not accept discrimination. Caste inequality has been a part of Hindu society,” Uma Bharti said.

    The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government last month decided to provide 4.5 percent reservation to minorities in central government jobs and educational institutions within the 27 percent quota for Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

    Law Minister Salman Khurshid Monday said the party will provide nine percent reservation to backward Muslims within the OBC quota if the Congress was voted to power in Uttar Pradesh.

    “It reflects the bigoted mentality of Congress. Muslims should also condemn the Congress…We will not tolerate it. We will fight on the streets, in parliament,” Bharti said and added that the party will not allow a “second partition of the country”.

    The BJP leader said former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had also spoken against religion-based reservation.

    Uma Bharti, who is among the lead campaigners of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh elections, said Muslims had got the maximum share in economic development in Gujarat, a state ruled by the party.

    The BJP fielded Uma Bharti, who belongs to the Lodh community, to take on the Congress in an apparent effort to tap into discontent among the OBCs over the Congress announcement of a sub-quota for minorities.

    Uma Bharti said India was a secular state which did not practise “religion based reservation.”

    “We say it is a Hindu nation but not Hindu state. Has Congress tried to say it is a Hindu state,” Uma Bharti said and added that all parties should clear their stand on the issue.

    Answering a query, she said the main reason for Muslims not getting an adequate share in jobs was their not getting “hi-tech education”