Union Minister Giriraj Singh on Friday lashed out at the Congress party’s demand for OBC (Other Backward Classes) sub-quota in the Women’s Reservation Bill, labeling it as mere political theatre. Singh called upon Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, also invoking the name of former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, to seek an explanation as to why OBCs were not granted a quota during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rule.
In a rebuke, Singh stated, "They should stop this drama. It should be asked from Rahul Gandhi and Nehru why OBCs weren’t given recognition earlier. Congress ruled for so long, when did they worry about the OBCs."
Similarly, addressing the core of the issue, BJP MP Sushil Modi highlighted the absence of provisions for OBC reservations in Lok Sabha and state Legislative Assemblies, underlining that reservation provisions are exclusively reserved for SC (Scheduled Castes) and ST (Scheduled Tribes). He pointed out, "No other communities were given the benefit of reservation… They (Opposition) don’t have any love for OBCs, they wanted to stop women’s reservation, that is why they kept raising the OBC issue. They don’t have any love for Muslims or OBCs. OBCs have quotas in government jobs."
The comments by Giriraj Singh and Sushi Modi come in response to the Opposition’s call for including an OBC sub-quota in the Women’s Reservation Bill.
Rahul Gandhi ‘Regrets’ Absence Of OBC Quota In UPA’s Women Reservation Bill
Earlier in the day, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi demanded the immediate implementation of the women’s reservation bill. and expressed "100 percent regret" that the UPA government’s proposed legislation did not incorporate OBC reservations.
Gandhi also called upon the government to conduct a caste census and disclose its findings, along with the previous caste census conducted during the UPA rule. He expressed skepticism about the bill’s immediate implementation, asserting that it is tied to the population census and the delimitation exercise.
The former Congress president claimed, "The bill was meant for diverting attention from the growing call for a caste census."
He further alleged that BJP MPs held no decision-making power and likened them to powerless idols in a temple, news agency PTI reported.
While expressing support for the Women’s Reservation Bill, he advocated for additional reservations for women from backward classes and other sections in alignment with their population ratios.
When asked if he regretted the absence of OBC quota in the 2010 women’s reservation bill passed by the Rajya Sabha during the UPA government’s tenure, Rahul Gandhi acknowledged, "There is 100 percent regret. We should have done that back then, and we will get this done now", as quoted by PTI.