Sunday, November 12, 2006
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will oppose any move by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to introduce reservations for Muslims, party president Rajnath Singh has said.
In an exclusive interview to TV news channel NDTV India, Rajnath Singh said: 'The prime minister has talked about Muslims not getting their fair share in government jobs and other employment schemes, we would like to state that the BJP will oppose any such move.
'Reservations on religious grounds are opposed to the country's constitution. We have opposed setting up of the Sachar Committee and we will continue to oppose it in parliament and outside,' he said, according to a release issued here Sunday.
The Sachar Committee was appointed to conduct a headcount of Muslims in different professions.
According to the BJP chief, 'if Muslims as a community are not benefiting from the country's progress, we have to find some ways to help them.'
Reacting to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's comment that the BJP has not been able to prove itself effective in the opposition as its top leaders like Atal Behari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani were engaged in infighting, Rajnath Singh said the prime minister should not have commented on the internal affairs of another party.
'It was frivolous of the prime minister to make that comment. Mr. Advani and Mr. Vajpayee have had an outstanding record of coordinating working inside and outside parliament,' the BJP chief added.
He did not see anything wrong in the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) helping the BJP during elections, as happened during the just concluded Uttar Pradesh local bodies' poll.
'The RSS is not a political entity but if their members help us during elections, we welcome them. We hope that the RSS members will help us during coming assembly elections in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Delhi,' he asserted.
He maintained that the results of the recent by-elections had bolstered party workers' morale.
'We have shown everyone that we are the number one party in Uttar Pradesh and we are going to repeat that performance in the Vidhan Sabha elections,' Rajnath Singh said.