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Muslims should get reservations, but not on basis of religion: Lalu

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PATNA, May 7: RJD president Lalu Prasad on Tuesday said he was in favour of extending reservation benefits to Muslims but emphasised that it should be based on social backwardness and “not on the basis of religion”.

Notably, several Muslim sub-groups figure in the lists of OBCs in Bihar and a number of other states. However, their inclusion in Karnataka, which is currently under Congress rule, has come under fire from the BJP, which was defeated in assembly polls last year.

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Prasad spoke to PTI-Video here after his remarks on reservation benefits for the minority community earlier in the day kicked up a storm and drew flak from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Should not Muslims too get reservations (aarakshan to milna chahiye na Muslamanon ko”, was Prasad’s terse reply to journalists when they asked him about allegations by Modi and other BJP leaders that the RJD and its allies like the Congress wanted to extend quota benefits to the minority community, depriving OBCs, Dalits and tribals of their due.

The RJD supremo’s remark came under attack from Modi at a rally in Madhya Pradesh where he tore into the former chief minister of Bihar, whom he did not mention by name.

“A person who has serving sentences for eating up fodder meant for cattle (an allusion to the fodder scam), who is out on bail because of poor health, has said just a few hours ago that reservations should be given to Muslims. The gentlemen is revered by the Congress. Just look at their brazenness”, Modi said at the rally.

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He also alleged “what they imply is that not just a portion, but the entire quotas should be given away to Muslims”, adding that this was because of “politics of appeasement” practiced by INDIA bloc.

Reacting to the PM’s outbursts, Prasad said in his typical style, “I am senior to Narendra Modi (in politics). He does not know many things that I know. It was during my reign Mandal Commission recommendations were implemented (in Bihar)”.

“There are hundreds of social groups which got reservations as per the Mandal Commission report. But it was done not on the basis of religion. In the Constitution, there is no provision for reservations on religious basis”, Prasad told PTI video.

He also alleged “Narendra Modi and his party want to scrap the Constitution and do away with reservations. This is proven by the fact that the previous BJP government headed by late Atal Bihari Vajpayee had set up a commission to review the Constitution”.

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The RJD president, whose party is the BJP’s principal rival in Bihar, added that the saffron party would be routed in Bihar and voted out of power in Lok Sabha polls.

“They boast about a 400 plus tally. But they are going to be snuffed out (khud hi paar ho jaayenge). The third phase of polls is underway. In Bihar, our alliance is going to win all the five seats where voting is taking place. Long queues at polling booths in the current and previous phases are proof that winds of change are blowing”, claimed Prasad. (PTI)







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