Ahmedabad: Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today accused the Congress of misguiding the Patidar community over the issue of reservation and asked the party to reveal the roadmap under which it has promised a quota to them over and above the 50 per cent cap set by the Supreme Court.
Prasad, while referring to seven different Supreme Court judgements, including a landmark judgement in 1992, alleged that the Congress’ reservation talk is “height of political opportunism” aimed only at getting Patidar votes during the next month’s Gujarat Assembly polls.
“Congress is now talking about reservation to Patidars. This is height of political opportunism. I want Congress to reveal their roadmap as to how they would breach the 50 per cent cap set by the SC,” the law minister said.
“Is it a mere eyewash or cheating? If it is being done for getting votes, then it must stop,” Prasad told reporters here.
“There are seven different judgements about reservation, including the 1992 Indra Sawhney judgement, which clearly says that we can’t cross the 50 per cent cap,” the minister said.
The Supreme Court had also made it clear that any law about reservation does not become immune to judicial review just by putting it into the 9th schedule of the Constitution, he said.
Last week, Patidar leader Hardik Patel announced his support to the Congress for the upcoming Gujarat polls, stating that the party has promised to give reservation under Article 31(C) of the Constitution, if voted to power.
Hardik had said that reservation formula given by the Congress for his community will be over and above the present 50 per cent quota and opined that the 50 per cent cap set by the Supreme Court was just a “suggestion” and can be breached if the sate government wants. On this, Prasad said Article 31(C) was introduced in 1971, while all the reservation-related judgements were delivered only after that.
“Now, Congress is trying to open the doors through Article 31(C), which was introduced in 1971. Since all the judgements came after that, it is clear that the SC must have considered all the provisions of 31(C) while giving verdicts. I request the Congress not to cheat Patidars for getting their votes,” he said.