Post Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) coveted Mohan Vaidya commented against reservation, in a belligerent attack the Congress Party on Friday trained guns at the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) ideologue and said that this is a conspiracy of the saffron cadre to polarise votes on castiest line ahead of upcoming assembly elections.
Dubbing the BJP and the RSS as anti-Dalit and anti backward, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that ahead of the crucial Uttar Pradesh polls both are attempting to divide votes.
"The entire nation must remember that even before the Bihar elections the similar statement made by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat ji this is the sinister and the conspiracy of the BJP and the RSS to divide votes, to polarise the voters on the castiest lines," said Surjewala.
"Now that the UP elections are approaching BJP-RSS are playing the same game again. The truth is that PM Modi and the entire BJP government and the RSS are anti-poor, anti-Dalit and anti-backward. And this continues to be exposed time and again," he added.
The Congress leader further lambasted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and asked him to tender and apology against the anti-Dalit remark and assure that no such attacks will be made by his party and its associates in the future.
"It is time that Prime Minister Modi should apologise and should give a solemn guarantee to the people of this country, that they including his party will stop indulging in such kind of attacks on the constitutional guarantee of reservation to our Dalits brothers and sisters and poor of this country," he said.
Echoing similar sentiments another Congress leader PL Punia said that similar kind of anti-Dalit statements were made by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at the time of Bihar elections, while adding that people of the nation are wll aware of BJP's attention and will give a buffeting reply to such mentality.
"Manmohan Vaidya ji who is a senior RSS leader has said that reservation should be ended. May it be the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) all are Anti-Dalits," said Punia.
"They have this anti-Dalit mentality, which is why they keep on making such comments. Before the Bihar elections Mohan Bhagwat ji made a statement against reservation, now this remark has come. This shows their mentality. The people know and understand everything very well and the result of this will reflect soon," he added.
After raising a storm post his statement quoting B.R. Ambedkar against continuation of reservation, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue Manmohan Vaidya earlier today retracted his earlier comment saying that the organisation has always been in favour of reservation, adding that as long as differences in the society remain, such policies will exist as well.
"The RSS has clarified time and again that it has always been in support of reservation, as we believe that reservation was imposed in response to the discrimination being faced by certain sections of the society," Vaidya told ANI.
He further emphasised that reservation is a must, however, adding that it should not be based on the lines of religion.
"The second question was on giving reservation on the basis of religion, to that I responded that reservation on the basis of religion has not been a part of our history and if we do so, then this will only promote separatist ideology. So I suggested that instead of opting for reservation on the basis of religion we can give them better education. The Supreme Court and the high Court also have several times rejected the idea of reservation on the basis of religion," he added.
During an interactive session in the Jaipur Literature Festival he said that reservations for the SC and ST were introduced in a different context and it was provided in the Constitution to remedy the 'historical injustice' done to them.
"It was our responsibility. So, reservation for them has been there since the inception (of the Constitution). But, even Ambedkar has said its continuance in perpetuity is not good. There should be a time limit to it," he added.
Vaidya's remark comes as an embarrassment for the BJP as it comes days ahead of the assembly polls in five states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Punjab and Goa.
The opposition parties trained guns at the BJP and RSS post Vaidya's remark.
Congress leader Raj Babbar told ANI that said that the RSS is least concerned about the downtrodden and underprivileged sections of the society.
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also lashed out at Vaidya while accusing the BJP and RSS of being anti-Dalits.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav cornered Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Vaidya's remark, while asserting that the BJP would face electoral defeat in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh after witnessing the same fate in Bihar.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)