BJP on de­fen­sive af­ter MP mantri re­mark

The Asian Age - - Nation - RABINDRA NATH CHOUDHURY

In a bizarre logic to de­fend his anti- reser­va­tion re­marks made ear­lier by him at a meet­ing of a par­tic­u­lar com­mu­nity in Naras­ingh­pur district in Mad­hya Pradesh, a se­nior min­is­ter in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan govern­ment on Mon­day said, “Do you ex­pect me to preach Bi­ble, Qu­ran at the meet of Brah­man so­ci­ety.”

The min­is­ter jus­ti­fied his ap­pre­hen­sions that reser­va­tion pol­icy may push the coun­try to­wards back­ward­ness. State pan­chayat raj min­is­ter Gopal Bhar­gav on Mon­day said he was only rais­ing is­sues per­tain­ing to the com­mu­nity.

Go­ing against the party line, Mr Bhar­gav had said merit has been the big­gest vic­tim of the reser­va­tion sys­tem. Peo­ple with poor aca­demic record have been ab­sorbed in govern­ment jobs, while mer­i­to­ri­ous stu­dents have been ig­nored be­cause of the reser­va­tion pol­icy.

Mr Bhar­gav’s anti- reser­va­tion re­marks, com­ing at a time when the re­cent ver­dict by the Supreme Court di­lut­ing the SC/ ST ( pre­ven­tion of atroc­i­ties) Act, 1989, has trig­gered dalit out­rage across the na­tion, has landed the rul­ing BJP in an em­bar­rass­ing sit­u­a­tion, forc­ing him to is­sue a clar­i­fi­ca­tion.

“I was ad­dress­ing the Brah­man com­mu­nity mem­bers where I needed to raise is­sues per­tain­ing to them. I can­not preach Bi­ble, Qu­ran at the Brah­mans’ meet,” he said, adding, “We raise is­sues rel­e­vant to par­tic­u­lar so­ci­eties when we at­tend their con­ven­tions.”

Mr Bhar­gav, how­ever, as­serted that he was a strong votary of reser­va­tion sys­tem.

I can­not preach Bi­ble, Qu­ran at the Brah­mans’ meet — Gopal Bhar­gav, MP min­is­ter

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