BHOPAL: Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor, the face of the OBC community in Gujarat, on Monday said he would work to unite the backward classes in Madhya Pradesh to fight against the ruling BJP in the Assembly polls slated by the year-end. Thakor, who was a prominent face of the Congress’ poll campaign in Gujarat last year, claimed that the OBCs were deprived of their constitutional rights in Madhya Pradesh.
The newly-elected Gujarat legislator, who is on a tour of Madhya Pradesh, said he would try to bring the OBCs, SCs, STs and minorities on a single platform in the state, where the BJP is in power since 2003. “There is a 27 percent reservation in government jobs for the OBCs in the country, but they are still backward and deprived of their constitutional rights. “In Madhya Pradesh too the backward communities are deprived (of their rights). We will hold a convention of the OBCs, SCs, STs and minorities within the next three months in the state,” he said at a press conference here.
The OBC youths of Madhya Pradesh had set up an organisation, which currently had a presence in 29 Assembly seats in the state and would be expanded to all the segments within the next six months, the 40-year-old MLA from Gujarat’s Radhanpur added. Madhya Pradesh has a 230-member Assembly.
Thakor alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had forgotten the OBC community after coming to power. “Modi posed as an OBC (leader) and (sought) their votes but forgot them after winning the election. He did nothing for the OBCs. The OBC youths are now active in politics because they were kept backward by their own leaders,” he said.
The BJP had failed to work for the poor and backward classes, the Congress MLA alleged, adding that the leaders of the saffron party had become “arrogant”. Thakor also took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he was more concerned about global issues than the domestic ones. “Our prime minister is more concerned about Taiwan and Palestine than (the issues) at home,” he said.
Asked if the OBCs would work out a seat arrangement with the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, Thakor said that was not a priority as of now. “We will first ask the Congress to include the issues of OBCs, SCs, STs in its manifesto. Seats are not an issue as of now. We want the political parties to work for the welfare of the poor and backward classes,” he said.
Asked about Modi’s recent statement linking “pakoda” selling with job creation, Thakor alleged that the prime minister wanted the poor to remain poor and that he was asking the degree-holders to sell pakoda. There were 12 crore unemployed youths in the country, of whom three crore were educated, he said.
Asked about Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel’s reported remark that those selling pakodas could own restaurants in a short span of time, Thakore said, “She is my bua (aunt) and she makes good pakodas. We have family relations with Anandiben since 1975.” The Congress leader said he would also visit Satna and Jabalpur during his tour of Madhya Pradesh.
Alpesh Thakor said that union minister Uma Bharti should not resign from active politics. He said, “In BJP, OBC, SC and ST feel discarded, they are not given respect and finally Uma Bharti had decided to quit from the politics”. On the Pakoda politics, Alpesh said that PM Narendra Modi’s brand of Pakoda politics is aimed at ensuring that OBC, SC, ST and minorities indulge in frying pakodas instead of getting government jobs.