Venkaiah: Reservation along lines of religion may create another Pakistan

Religion-based reservations will divide people along communal lines and lead to rise in demand for creation of another Pakistan, for another partition of the country, the Union Minister said.

Implementing reservations on the grounds of religion could lead to social unrest in the country and result in "creation of another Pakistan", Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu has said.

Naidu was speaking at a BJP meeting held on the occasion of the Ambedkar Jayanthi. He also indicated that the recent proposal by Telangana to increase reservations for some sections of society may not have constitutional validity.

The minister added that architect of Constitution B R Ambedkar had always opposed reservation based on religious lines.

"We are not opposing (reservation on the basis of religion) because KCR (Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao) wants to implement it," he said.

BJP OPPOSED THIS MOVE EVEN EARLIER

Naidu added, "The BJP had opposed such a step even when Rajasekhar Reddy (late chief minister of united Andhra Pradesh) and Chandrababu Naidu (the present CM) tried to do that. We will raise our voice against any such move because that will result in creation of another Pakistan. It is an all-India policy of the BJP, not merely that of the party's Telangana unit," he said.

He said the BJP was against communal reservations. "Communal reservation will divide people along communal lines. It will lead to rise in demand for another partition of the country. It will antagonise one set of people against another. There will also be social disruption," Naidu added.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had recently said that his government would convene the Legislative Assembly on April 16 to pass a bill to increase quotas to the STs (Scheduled Tribes) and backward sections among Muslims.

Rao further said that a resolution once passed by the state Assembly would be sent to the Centre for its consent. He also warned that in case the Centre refused to grant its approval, the state government may approach the Supreme Court.

BJP NOT AGAINST MUSLIMS: VENKAIAH

The Union Minister also clarified that his party was not against Muslims.

"Reservations that are offered based on social status and backwardness (in any religion) are recognised by the Constitution. Any deviation from that will not stand before the Constitution", he said.

"The BJP bats for reservation for those belonging to the socially backward classes and are discriminated against. Reservations based on religion may lead to social unrest in the country. They would encourage religious conversions, leading to tension among various sections of society", he added.

(WITH INPUTS FROM PTI)

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