PM must clear his stance on whether he’ll remove 50 pc cap on reservation for SC, ST, OBC: Cong

New Delhi, May 1 (PTI) The Congress on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to clear his stance on whether he will remove the 50 per cent cap on reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes.

Former Union minister Jairam Ramesh said the Congress manifesto guarantees that it will pass a constitutional amendment to raise the 50 per cent cap on reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs but Modi is trying to give it a “communal colour”.

Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here, the Congress general secretary alleged that the BJP is “talking about ‘400 paar’ to get the right to change the Constitution as the BJP and the RSS are against secularism and social justice”.

“The Congress guarantees that it will pass a constitutional amendment to raise the 50 per cent cap on reservations for SCs, STs and OBCs,” he said.

“I want to ask the prime minister, who wants to give a communal colour to our Nyay Patra and wants to mislead, that will he remove the cap of 50 pc reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs,” Ramesh said.

He said Rahul Gandhi is holding a copy of the Constitution in his hand at public meetings because it is being attacked.

“First the prime minister’s economic advisor talked about it (changing the Constitution), then many candidates and MPs also stated this.

“Today I want to say that this is not the first time BJP and RSS have given a ‘samvidhan badlo’ slogan, it has been the demand of the RSS since 1949 that there is a need to change the Constitution,” Ramesh said, holding a copy of the Constitution.

He quoted a speech by B R Ambedkar on November 25, 1949, in which he had said, “The task of the Drafting Committee would have been a very difficult one if this Constituent Assembly has been merely a motley crowd, a tessellated pavement without cement, a black stone here and a white stone there is which each member or each group was a law unto itself. There would have been nothing but chaos.”

“This possibility of chaos was reduced to nil by the existence of the Congress Party inside the Assembly which brought into its proceedings a sense of order and discipline.

“It is because of the discipline of the Congress Party that the Drafting Committee was able to pilot the Constitution in the Assembly with the sure knowledge as to the fate of each article and each amendment.

“The Congress Party is, therefore, entitled to all the credit for the smooth sailing of the Draft Constitution in the Assembly,” Ambedkar was quoted as saying by Ramesh.

Ramesh then went on to quote an article that he claimed was published in the RSS-linked publication Organiser on November 30, 1949.

“The worst about the new Constitution of Bharat is that there is nothing Bharatiya about it. The drafters of the Constitution have incorporated in it elements of British, American, Canadian, Swiss and sundry other Constitutions… Manu’s Laws were written long before Lycurgus of Sparta or Solon of Persia.

“To this day, his laws as enunciated in the Manusmriti, excite the admiration of the world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But to our constitutional pundits that means nothing,” he quoted the article as saying.

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