NAGPUR: Veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi on Monday met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwatat Mahal headquarters and “exchanged notes with him on current political situation.”
Another BJP stalwart L K Advani also met Bhagwat, albeit separately. The parleys of two BJP leaders and presence of party president Nitin Gadkari in town was seen significant with Lokpal Bill to be debated in Parliament over next three days.
UPA government’s decision to provide 4.75% reservations to Muslims from the OBC pool of 27% announced just a day before the elections in five states, including Uttar Pradesh, came in for strong criticism by Joshi. “No doubt the decision was taken by the UPA government with an eye on UP elections. It’s a fit case for Election Commission to put on hold. Such decisions taken before elections tend to affect the free and fair conduct of polls,” said Joshi. His objection was that the Muslim quota was against provisions of Constitution that barred any reservations on the basis of religion, he said.
The BJP leader said sections of Muslims were already included in the quota. The new 4.75% quota for them would only benefit the educated and well-off Muslims while more needy from the same community as well as the most deserving claimants from the other backward communities (OBCs) would be denied the benefits.
According to Arjun Sengupta report, OBCs deserve the reservation benefit the most, he added.
“We will spread awareness among OBCs on how they were being denied their right at the cost of vote-bank politics of Congress-led UPA government,” said Joshi. “India is a secular nation. Our Constitution bars reservations on religious lines. Except Parsis and Jews there are no minorities in the country. Even Mahatma Gandhi had wondered how Hindus converting to Islam could enjoy a new status overnight,” said Joshi.
The BJP leader also objected to CEC Queraishi remark that Anna Hazare’s movements in Uttar Pradesh would be monitored.
“Speaking against the Congress on Lokpal Bill cannot constitute an offence under any law,” said Joshi. He also wondered what Union minister of state (PMO) meant when he said “the Lokpal Bill issue would be dealt with with an iron hand.”
M M Joshi said while he was in town to meet the RSS chief, he had no information that his party colleague L K Advani and VHP working president Praveen Togadiya were also visiting the city. “It is no more than coincidence,” he said.
Joshi reached Nagpur on Sunday night while Advani and Togadiya landed on Monday. Advani met RSS chief Bhagwat in the afternoon soon after addressing a meeting of party office bearers and prominent members of Sindhi community at a private lawn in Chhaoni area. He later attended Dayanand girls’ school golden jubilee function along with party president Nitin Gadkari.
However, throughout his day-long visit, he evaded talking to mediapersons chasing him right from his arrival at the airport in the morning. Joshi and Togadiya addressed reporters separately.