Centre should ensure equal, quality education instead of reservation: AAP Minister

New Delhi: Accusing the Modi government of bringing the upper caste reservation policy “out of the blue”, Delhi Cabinet Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam on Wednesday said the government should focus on equal and quality education for all so that people will not demand reservation.

Speaking to IANS, Gautam said the people from SC/ST communities were not allowed to get education for centuries, which made reservation necessary for them.

“They were left far behind… To bring them into the mainstream, they were given the reservation. The base for their reservation was educational backwardness. Similarly, when it was decided that OBCs should be given reservations, a Commission was formed. The decision was taken after a detailed analysis. The base of their reservation was social backwardness, not economic status. No reservation was ever given ever without a Commission formation,” he said.

He also said that the government should ensure proper education and healthcare facilities for all instead of giving reservations.

“Health and education should be in governments’ control and there should also be an equal distribution of natural resourced in the real sense. The government should work to improve the condition of schools.”

He said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was not against the reservation for upper caste poor, “but against the thinking of the BJP”.

“They are against the SC/STs. They have been against the reservation for years, and now when the election is just a few days away, they are doing this. This is being done after the party lost elections in five states.”

The AAP leader added: “The current upper caste quota is being given without detailed analysis and without any proper discussion. This is a conspiracy. The Center out of the blue brought this in Cabinet and the next day the Lok Sabha passed it.”

AAP leader Saurabh Bhardwaj echoed the sentiments, saying the reservation will not do much good to the upper caste.

“It was the RSS’ dream to scrap the reservation for SC/ST and OBC. This will act as the first step towards achieving that dream,” he said.

Gautam said: “You (Centre) are just fooling people. There are no jobs to give, where will you give reservation.”

The Union Cabinet on Monday decided to provide 10 per cent quota for people belonging to “unreserved categories”, including Christians and Muslims, in jobs and education with an annual income limit of Rs 8 lakh and a land holding ceiling of about five acres.

On Tuesday, the Lok Sabha passed a Constitution amendment Bill to provide 10 per cent reservation for economically backward sections in the unreserved category in government jobs and higher educational institutions.