M A I N   N E W S

UP House recommends quota for Dalit Muslims
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, December 5
In a move of far-reaching significance, the ruling Samajwadi Party today pushed through a resolution in the Assembly recommending amendment of the Constitution to the Centre so as to provide reservation to Dalit Muslims and Christians under Article 341.

While the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj party boycotted the proceedings over the law and order issue, the BJP, the main Opposition party, staged a walkout, charging the resolution as a bid to divide society. Describing the step as a "political" gimmick on the eve of the forthcoming Assembly elections, BJP leaders said it was an attempt to counter the ill-effects of the Sachar Committee report on the minorities' status.

According to them, such benefit to Muslims and Christians would encourage conversion, as now people would adopt shorter path to get the benefit.

Interestingly, members of Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), the alliance partner of the ruling Samajwadi Party government were absent in the House when the resolution was passed. In the absence of Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mohammad Azam Khan piloted the resolution. The resolution passed today calls upon the Central Government to abolish clause 3 of the Constitution (Schedule Caste) Order, 1950, through which Dalit Muslims and Christians are kept out of the reservation purview.

The resolution states that keeping Muslims and Christians out of reservation facility under Article 341 was against Article 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution. Opposing the resolution, senior BJP leader Laxmikant Bajpai decried the “votebank” politics, of reportedly wooing the Muslims, being pursued by both the SP and the Congress.



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