Lalu Prasad clarifies Muslim quota pitch, says social backwardness is basis for reservation

Patna May 7 (IANS) Hours after his remark that people from the Muslim community should get full reservations triggered a political row, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav clarified in a video statement that the Mandal Commission recommendations provide reservations to more than 3,500 backward and extremely backward classes, including many from other religions.

“Social backwardness, not religion, is the basis for providing reservations. The Prime Minister doesn't even have that much understanding. We implemented the Mandal Commission recommendations. More than 3,500 backward and extremely backward classes get reservations under the Mandal Commission recommendations, which include many people from other religions,” Lalu Prasad said in a video message posted on X.

The clarification came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday tore into the RJD chief for making a fresh quota pitch for Muslims, saying the INDI Alliance cannot see beyond ‘appeasement’.

Addressing a public rally in Madhya Pradesh's Dhar, PM Modi berated the INDI Alliance for Lalu Prasad's ‘reservation must for Muslims’ statement and said that those who were in jail till some time ago are now rallying behind religion-based reservations.

In his message, Lalu Prasad said, "They (BJP) do not understand the poor, backward, and Dalit people more than us. The RSS and the BJP have been conspiring to abolish the reservations provided in the Constitution by B.R. Ambedkar and Jannayak Karpuri Thakur for long," the RJD chief said.

“These people do not believe in the Constitution. If they did, they would not have used divisive language that spreads hatred," he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Lalu Prasad said, "The BJP leaders are provoking the people by talking about 'Jungle Raj' in Bihar. They are simply scared of losing the elections and that is why they are trying to instigate the people. The BJP is trying to destroy reservation and democracy. Muslims in India should get full reservation."

Lalu Prasad's remarks triggered a political row in Bihar with state BJP President and Deputy CM Samrat Choudhary saying special reservations cannot be provided to people from the Muslim community.

“Today, Lalu Prasad Yadav said that Muslims should get reservations. We oppose his remark. The BJP will not allow any tinkering with the reservations for the extremely backward classes, Dalits, and others under any circumstances. No matter how hard Lalu Prasad tries, there will be no reservations based on religion,” Choudhary said.


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