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RSS Quota Controversy: Arun Jaitley Says Reservation Policy To Continue

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made it clear on Monday that there was no rethink on the present social and caste based reservation policy and it would continue. The FM's remarks came in the wake of RSS saying that there should be no reservation in jobs and education for the affluent.

"It is the stated policy of government that present arrangement of reservation will be maintained," Jaitley said in Lok Sabha in response to SP and BSP members raising concern over remarks by some RSS leaders yesterday. RSS, Jaitley said, "has also not talked" of scrapping or changing the present reservation policy.

Earlier, Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) alleged a conspiracy in doing away with the present reservation system.

Mayawati (BSP) said the Constitution has clearly defined the criteria for giving reservation to SC/ST and OBCs and now RSS functionaries were talking of the quota being based on economic criteria. She was referring to RSS general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi's remark at the organisation's camp at Nagaur in Rajasthan on Sunday.

Jaitley responded this, saying "he has not said that."

RSS had disapproved of reservation demands by the "affluent" sections and had favoured a study to ascertain whether the deserving backward classes are actually getting the quota benefits. Pitching for social harmony, the Sangh fountainhead had said that members of the "Hindu community are responsible" for caste-based discrimination and "we need to eradicate it" for social justice, regarding which he invoked BR Ambedkar.

Disapproving of demands for quota by "affluent" sections, Joshi had said that the provisions of reservation made by Bhimrao Ambedkar were for social justice and that concept should be kept in mind by those demanding reservation today. "It is felt that this thinking (demand by affluent class) is not in the right direction. People of such (affluent) class should give up their right and should help the weaker section of the society. But instead of that, they are demanding reservation for themselves which is not a thinking in the right direction," he had said, as per PTI.

He did not make any direct reference to any section making such demands but appeared to be hinting at Jats who recently launched a major violent agitation in Haryana for reservation. He was addressing a press conference at the end of a three-day conclave of Akhil Bhariya Pratinidhi Sabha, the highest decision-making body of the RSS, which passed resolutions on Social Harmony as also Education and Healthcare.

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