Congress ‘deceiving’ Patels with reservation promise: Jaitley

Ahmedabad: The Congress’s promise to grant reservation to the Patidar community is nothing but “deception” for votes in the Gujarat polls as the Supreme Court has put a 50 per cent cap on quota in education and jobs, Union minister and BJP leader Arun Jaitley today said.

After opposing development, the Congress has devised a strategy to contest polls by creating a social divide, but they will not succeed, Jaitley, in-charge of the Gujarat assembly polls, said.

“The Supreme Court’s judgments regarding reservations are very clear. A 50 per cent limit is set by the apex court, and to breach the limit of 50 per cent is to deceive yourself or others,” the finance minister told reporters.

Jaitely was asked for his views on Congress leader Kapil Sibal’s promise to the Hardik Patel-led group to provide reservation to the Patidars over and above the cap of 50 per cent as the party does not want to disturb the existing quotas for scheduled tribes, scheduled castes and other backward classes (which add up to 50 per cent in Gujarat).

“A few days ago, in a Rajasthan case, the Supreme Court said you may make whatever law you want to make but you cannot breach the 50 per cent limit (for quotas).

“So, we believe, if anybody is talking about giving reservation above 50 per cent then that is like deceiving the people by making false promise to gain votes in the elections,” Jaitley said.

The Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and the opposition Congress have declared they have reached a compromise regarding the Patidar community’s demand for quota in government jobs and educational institutions.

The PAAS is spearheading the quota stir in Gujarat.

“When canvassing for this elections started, the Congress strategy and campaign was anti-development. We have not seen such a campaign in the world where a political party has fought elections by claiming itself to be anti-development,” Jaitely said, making a reference to the “development has gone crazy” campaign.

“Now, I feel they have changed their strategy, they now want to win elections by creating a social divide.

“The BJP is a symbol of development and stability, while the forces that the Congress is attracting towards itself, will only lead to anarchy in the society,” he said.

Jaitley slammed the Congress for engaging in “negative politics” and said this will be rejected by the voters.

Gujarat is a developing region, and this type of “negative politics” will not work here or any other state. The people of Gujarat have remained one and will reject such politics in one voice, he said, adding the BJP will win the next month’s elections with a “thumping” majority.

Jaitely said the BJP’s manifesto for Gujarat is ready and the party will soon announce the date for its release.