BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh BJP seems to have locked horns with the state government employees on the issue of reservation after its senior scheduled caste (SC) leader and former MP Narayan Prasad Kesri sparked a controversy by saying “those opposing reservation will perish”.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of BJP SCs Morcha at the regional party office on Monday, Kesri had demanded that government should give legal status to the reservation and no one will oppose the move. “Sarkar ko aarakshan ko kanooni roop dena chahiye aur koi bhi aarakshan ka virodh nahi karega. Jisne bhi iska virodh kiya vo marega. Koi mai ka laal isse rok nahin sakta (The government should give legal status to reservation. No one will come out against the move. Whosoever will oppose reservation will perish. No one who can stop this),” Kesri had said.
Employee leaders who were opposing “reservation in promotion” on behalf of joint forum, Samanya Jati Evam Pichhda Varg Adhikari Karmchari Sangh (SAPAKS), have opposed the statement, saying Kesri, being a senior ruling party leader, was threatening people who oppose reservation, ignoring the fact that the matter is subjudice. “The statement by senior Dalit leader Kesri is highly objectionable. His statement that reservation should be given legal status and those who oppose will perish is condemnable,” said SAPAKS general secretary Laxminarayan Sharma. He said the issue of “reservation in promotion” is pending with the Apex Court for a final hearing and decision and such statements amount to contempt of the court.
However, when asked, BJP leader Kesri justified his statement, saying there was nothing wrong in it. He said political parties are raking up the issue of reservation in Uttar Pradesh elections, which is aimed at garnering votes from the reserved class. “At this moment when all parties are supporting reservation, we want that it should take a legal form. Those opposing it would perish in the election process,” Kesri told TOI.
The BJP also supported Kesri over the issue of reservation for backward classes. “Kesri is a senior SC leader and the BJP supports him for his dedication towards the development of backward and marginalised sections of society. I don’t see anything wrong in his statement,” said BJP state chief spokesperson Deepak Vijayavargiya.
With Madhya Pradesh government spending crores on legal battle to restore reservation in promotion in government jobs despite Supreme Court ruling, there seems to be a direct conflict between pro and anti-groups on reservation ahead of assembly elections in 2018.