PATNA -- With BJP facing sustained attack from RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over reservation issue, its president Amit Shah today said BJP was "committed" to the existing quota for the OBCs and SC/STs.
"BJP does not favour any change in the reservation policy, rather it supports the existing quota policy. We are committed to keeping inviolable these constitutional rights given to the dalit, tribals, backwards and others," he told reporters in reply to questions on the controversy stoked by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's remarks last month calling for review of the reservation policy.
Secular Alliance leaders, Prasad and Kumar, have latched on to Bhagwat's 'review quota policy' demand, telling the sizable backward and dalit communities during Assembly election campaigning that BJP will review or scrap the policy.
Under attack on the issue, Shah clarified that he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have repeatedly said the existing quota policy was there to stay and the BJP has no intention to fiddle with it in whatsoever manner.
Shah even went as far to outrightly deny that the RSS chief had ever demanded review of reservation policy.
He accused Kumar and Yadav of trying to turn Bihar Assembly election into a a battele between backward castes and upper castes and added that BJP has "made a poor man's son the Prime Minister".
On several writers returning Sahitya Academy awards or resigning from its posts to protest against the "atmosphere of intolerance" in the country, Shah said BJP has no role in either the Dadri lynching incident in Uttar Pradesh or rationalist writer M M Kulburgi's murder in Karnataka.
Both the incidents took place in states not ruled by the BJP, he said adding Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka are being ruled by Samajwadi Party and Congress respectively.
Shah said it was for the respective state governments to deal with it as law and order is a state subject.
If the writers have been returning awards, the onus lies on Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka governments, he said.
On silence of top BJP leaders on the Dadri incident, the BJP president referred to the Prime Minister's rally in Nawada last week where he himself has spoken on the matter.
In that rally, Modi called upon the people to maintain communal amity and asked Hindus and Muslims to jointly fight hunger and poverty and not among themselves.
Lashing out at leaders of Nitish-led alliance for harping on controversial issues like beef and reservation, he alleged leaders like Prasad were seeking votes on casteist and communal issues and not on development agenda.