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Cong targets Bhagwat over his remarks on reservation; RSS dismisses row as unnecessary

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's remarks on reservation sparked a political row on Monday with the Congress alleging that the BJP and the Sangh were having an "anti-Dalit" mindset and conspiring to end quota in the country.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh(RSS) on its part dismissed as "unnecessary" the controversy over Bhagwat's remarks and asserted he merely highlighted the importance of resolving all issues in the society through cordial dialogue while asking everyone to exchange views on a sensitive issue like reservation.

RSS' prachar pramukh' (publicity head) Arun Kumar said as far as the Sangh was concerned, the organisation has spelled it's stand many times that it completely stands for reservation to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBCs and economically backward.

Bhagwat told an event in Delhi on Sunday that there should be conversation in harmonious atmosphere between those in favour of reservation and those against it.

Those who favour reservation should speak keeping in mind the interests of those who are against it, and similarly those who oppose it should do the vice-versa, he said.

Addressing a joint press conference, Congress leaders Pawan Khera, P L Punia and Udit Raj said the BJP and RSS are seeking to make attempts to change the Constitution and have developed a habit of raking up controversies to divert the public attention from real issues and their own "failures".

"Bhagwat's statement is condemnable and shows the BJP mindset which is 'anti-Dalit and anti-OBC'. The statement is part of a pre-conceived conspiracy to end reservation," said Punia.

"The BJP and the RSS are making continuous attempts to change the Constitution," he alleged.

"It has become a habit with the BJP and its ideological masters - the RSS - to keep raking up issues and creating conflict in the society about issues on which opinions are sharply divided, issues that can divert the attention of the voter of the people from the day-to-day problems that they are facing under this Government," Khera alleged.

"What we are trying to expose before you, is the design behind all these comments or these decisions or the narrative triggered by this Government and its ideological masters," he added.

Udit Raj alleged that the RSS had earlier challenged the intellectual capacities of the framers of the Constitution.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also tweeted, "Attack on the rights of the poor, trampling on constitutional rights, snatching the rights of Dalits-backwards. This is the real BJP agenda."

"The anti Dalit-backward face of the RSS-BJP has been exposed. The conspiracy to end reservation for the poor and the policy of changing the Constitution have been uncovered," he said in a series of tweets in Hindi.

Punia said Bhagwat's comments asking for a debate on reservation are "very serious". He said the RSS is a political organisation, but it claims itself to be a social organisation.

RSS' Arun Kumar took to Twitter to respond to the criticism of Bhagwat's remarks.

"Attempts are being made to create unnecessary controversy over some remarks made by Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat ji in his speech at a programme in Delhi. Highlighting the importance of resolving all issues in the society through cordial dialogue he had called upon everyone to exchange views on sensitive issue like Reservation," he said.

"As far as RSS is concerned, it has spelled it's stand many times that it completely stands for reservation to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBCs and economically backward."


Kumar earlier in the day had also said that Bhagwat merely stressed on the importance of addressing issues in society through mutual talks in harmony and called for considering a sensitive issue like reservation in a similar manner.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, August 19 2019. 21:25 IST
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