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BJP wants over 400 seats to help RSS succeed in ‘conspiracy’ to abolish reservation: Congress

Jairam Ramesh said the people should note that this is the first time that the goal of a political party is not just to win an election but to emerge victorious in more than 400 seats.

Screenshot 2024 04 30 093957NEW DELHI: The Congress on Monday alleged that the BJP wants “more than 400 seats” so that they can amend the Constitution and fulfil the decades-long “conspiracy” of the RSS to abolish reservation.

The main opposition party said this is the first time that a political party’s goal is not only to win an election but also to secure more than 400 seats.

The Congress and the BJP have been sparring over the issue. While addressing the election rallies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been rebutting the Congress charge and saying that even if “Babasaheb Ambedkar comes, the Constitution cannot be changed.”

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh on Monday shared media reports on RSS-BJP leaders’ remarks in the last few years on “ending reservation” and alleged that they have been trying to do away with the quota in education and jobs for the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBC).

“RSS-BJP have been opposing reservation for 100 years. For the last 10 years they have been continuously attacking reservation — in 2015, RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat had talked about reviewing reservation and its need and time limit.”

“In 2017, RSS leader Manmohan Vaidya said reservation should be removed. In 2018, (former) BJP MP C P Thakur had opposed Dalit reservation,” Ramesh said in a post in Hindi on X.

In 2021, former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jai Ram Thakur of the BJP had said the time had come to put an end to caste-based reservation, he said.

“You must be seeing that many BJP leaders are saying they want ‘more than 400’ seats so that they can amend Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Constitution. These people have openly said so: Ananth Kumar Hegde, the BJP MP from Karnataka and a former Union minister; Arun Govil, the BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Meerut; Lallu Singh, the BJP MP from Faizabad; Jyoti Mirdha, the BJP’s Lok Sabha poll candidate from Nagaur,” the Congress leader said on the microblogging platform.

Ramesh said the people should note that this is the first time that the goal of a political party is not just to win an election but to emerge victorious in more than 400 seats.

“The BJP is a clear threat to our Constitution. It wants to amend the Constitution so that the decades-long conspiracy of the RSS to abolish reservation can succeed,” he alleged.

The Lok Sabha polls are being held in the country and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has set a target of winning more than 400 seats.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Modi accused the opposition party on Monday of planning to implement religion-based reservation in the country for the sake of vote-bank politics, while asserting that he will not let it happen.

Modi alleged that this proposal of the Congress is for appeasing minorities as the SC, ST and OBC communities are now with the BJP.

In another post, Ramesh said, “Today in Patan, Gujarat, Rahul Gandhi brought out a copy of the Constitution of India and promised to uphold and protect it at all costs in full public view. The Indian National Congress is the true party of nationalism, constitutionalism, and justice – and we will never compromise on these principles.”

In yet another post, Ramesh also cited a debate in Parliament to hit out at the BJP over Prime Minister Modi’s “mangal sutra” remarks.

“During the discussions in Parliament on the Union Budget on August 5th 1991, then MP Atal Behari Vajpayee made the following suggestions on how India could resolve its economic crisis. The only time that snatching mangalsutras was ever on the table was when Mr Vajpayee advocated for it!” he said.

“Mr Narasimha Rao and Dr Manmohan Singh heard him intently but thankfully studiously ignored his advice,” Ramesh said.

According to the excerpt shared by Ramesh, Vajpayee had said, “There is about 10,000 tonnes of gold in our country, out of which 5,000 tonnes is hoarded and 5,000 tonnes have been brought into the country through smuggling. If we succeed to […] get 2,000 tonnes of gold from the public – I am not talking of 5,000 tonnes of gold but only 2,000 tonnes of gold […] it would be worth 36 billion American dollars.

“If we sell gold worth 25 billion dollars to clear our debts and invest the rest of gold in such a way that it would fetch us 10 per cent profit, then it would help us in overcoming the financial crisis,” Vajpayee was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said the country has seen through the “sinister plot” of trying to amend the Constitution and doing away with reservation because that has been the core philosophy of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Even in the BJP, it is no coincidence that leaders such as Jyoti Mirdha and Anant Hegde are talking about amending the Constitution, Shrinate said.

“What does it mean? It simply means denying people the right to reservation. It simply means acting against Dalits, tribals, backward classes and the poor in the general category. People have understood your sinister plot and will throw you out,” she said.

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