The NDA government’s decision to provide a 10% reservation to people from economically weaker sections from the General Class has sent jitters among the Opposition. They cannot oppose it due to political compulsions and if they support it, the BJP still benefits from it.
It appears they have decided to attack the proposition by terming it the first step towards eradication of reservations based on caste. Jignesh Mevani, the controversial MLA from Gujarat who has been accused of inciting violence in the past, made such an assertion.
RSS के लोगों से बात हुई- भाजपा 10% ग़रीबों को आरक्षण क्यों दे रही है? जो पता चला वो बेहद ख़तरनाक है। RSS जाति आरक्षण के हमेशा से ख़िलाफ़ रही है। अभी पहले चरण में संविधान संशोधन करके आर्थिक आधार शुरू करेंगे। फिर SC, ST और OBC का सारा आरक्षण ख़त्म करके केवल आर्थिक आधार रखेंगे
— Jignesh Mevani (@jigneshmevani80) January 9, 2019
Mevani said, “Talked to people from the RSS- why is the BJP giving 10% reservations to the poor? What I learnt was extremely dangerous. The RSS has always been against caste-based reservation. In this first step, through an amendment in the Constitution, they will start economic background based reservations. Then, they will end all reservations for SC, ST and OBC and keep reservations for only people from economically weaker sections.”
Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, echoed similar sentiments.
मेरी कई लोगों से बात हुई। सब लोगों को लग रहा है कि भाजपा कि यही चाल है।
बेहद ख़तरनाक। https://t.co/NVZpmRHKQm
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 9, 2019
Kejriwal claimed that he had talked with several people and all of them believed what Mevani claimed was actually what the BJP was thinking. “Very dangerous,” he said.
Lalu Prasad Yadav’s party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, was even more brazen in its attempt to spread Fake News. In a tweet, the party insinuated that ‘Manuvadi Modi’ had provided 10% reservations to the Brahmin community alone.
सवर्ण पैदा हुए मोदी ने पहले गुजरात में अपनी जाति को पिछड़ा बनाया फिर 14 में खुद की जाति के नाम दलित पिछड़ों को मूर्ख बना कर खूब वोट लूटा!
अब मोदी ने अपना असली मनुवादी जातिवादी रंग दिखा दिया!
जिनमें सिर्फ 5% गरीब हैं उन्हें देश की आबादी का 10% आरक्षण में दे बहुजनों को लूट लिया!
— Rashtriya Janata Dal (@RJDforIndia) January 8, 2019
The party said that by giving 10% reservations to a community which has only 5% poor among them, the BJP has looted the Bahujan community. It is unclear where the party got its statistics from, it appears fairly certain that they conjured things out of thin air to make a political point. In reality, the 10% reservations to people from economically poor backgrounds will not impact caste-based reservations in any manner whatsoever.
After floundering for a while, it appears the Opposition has found its voice yet again. It’s pretty clear that Mevani and Kejriwal are brazenly lying, something they have been known to do in the past. Even prior to the Assembly Elections in Bihar, the opposition with the help of the media had hyped the narrative that the BJP was against reservations. And despite the many reassurances from the top leadership, the strategy worked and the BJP suffered a heavy defeat.
Going into 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, it appears the Opposition has decided to adopt a similar strategy. The narrative doesn’t have a grain of truth in it of course but when one has the support of the “Pliant Media”, one can try and get away with such outright lies.