“Religion cannot be base of providing reservation”: PM Modi

As the battle over reservations for Muslims continues to escalate in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections with the BJP registering its dissent over religion-based quota, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the religion cannot be the base of providing reservations as it goes against the Constitution.

In an interview with Times Now, the Prime Minister said that the poor in the country include all Hindus, Christians, and Parsis and all should get the benefits of reservations.
“I have never said that Muslims won’t get reservations. All I’m saying is that religion cannot be the base of providing reservation. Poor in the country include all Hindus, Christians, and Parsis; all should get the benefits of reservations. Dalits and Tribals for long have faced injustice for thousands of years, and there is a special reason that the makers of our constitution have taken the right decision, and we are grateful for that. No political party opposes this,” the PM said.
When asked about the dangers associated with when it comes to allowing reservations based on religion to Muslims, PM Modi said that the maker of the Constitution, after a lengthy discussion during its drafting, decided that reservation based on religion would be detrimental to society and would not be good for the long term.
“When the Constitution was written at that time, leaders like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Babasaheb Ambedkar, and Rajendra Babu were all there; there was no one from the RSS or BJP and there were also representatives from all communities. After a lengthy discussion, it was decided that reservation based on religion would be detrimental to society and would not be good for the long term. Social evils were faced by communities of tribals and Dalits for years. Untouchability and discrimination took place. Injustice was done to a very large section of society on the basis of birth. It was necessary to undo the wrongs, and it is important to note that this was done by Sanatanis, apart from Nehru ji, who may think of himself above them,” the PM said.
PM Modi further assured that the Muslims will benefit equally from the schemes of the Centre if his government is voted into power.
“…we need to atone the sins and give reservations to those who deserve. I am also connected to the same sentiments. I want to live in the spirit of the Constitution. I want to raise the prestige of the Constitution. I have been saying from day 1 that reservations based on religion go against the Constitution, but it doesn’t mean that Muslims won’t get the benefit. We raised in Parliament a 10 per cent reservation for the poor in the general category; there was no objection, nobody fought, and no loot happened,” he said.
The PM also said that he is committed to completing all government schemes in which every community and religion will be covered marking the fulfilment of his ‘guarantee of social justice, a guarantee of secularism’.
“Even during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government, our manifesto included the Ram Mandir and the abrogation of Article 370, UCC. Now, it’s Modi’s sarkar. The pending work will be featured, and those completed will not be featured in the manifesto. I am committed to completing all government schemes. If 50 people need a house in a village, then all 50 must get it, not just 49. Every community and religion will be covered. It is a guarantee of social justice, a guarantee of secularism,” he added.-ANI

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