BJP's to counter SP-BSP tie up by dividing quota

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. PTI

The BJP-led government in Uttar Pradesh is reportedly mulling to provide quota within the SC/ST and OBC quota with a view to dent the SP-BSP vote bank.

The state government's decision comes at a time, when it is faced with a daunting task of repeating its 2014 performance in the next Lok Sabha polls in the wake of a possible alliance between arch rivals Samajwadi Party (SP) and the BSP in the state.

The government, according to sources, was in consultation with its state allies on whether to implement the report of a government appointed Committee, which has recommended quota within the SC/ST  and OBC quota. 

The Most Backward Social Justice Committee, which was formed to look into the issue, had submitted its report to the state government on Tuesday.

According to the sources, Om Prakash Rajbhar, chief of the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), an alliance partner in the state government, has asked the government to immediately implement the recommendations.

''The recommendations should be implemented immediately,'' Rajbhar said on Thursday.

BJP's another alliance partner Apna Dal, however, expressed serious reservations over the report and urged the saffron party not to hurry with its implementation.

Sources said that the implementation of the report could see a drastic reduction in the existing reservation quota for the two dominant OBC castes— 'Yadavs' and 'Kurmis', the main vote banks of SP and Apna Dal respectively.

Similarly the quota for the caste to which BSP supremo Mayawati belonged could also see a substantial reduction, sources said.

The Committee has recommended division of the OBC category in three sections comprising ''backward, very backward and most backward''. The OBC quota of 27 % should be divided equally among theses three new categories, it recommended.

Similarly the committee also recommended dividing the SC/ST category into three sections comprising ''Dalit, Ati Dalit and Maha Dalit''.

It recommended that the first two categories should be given 7% reservation each and the third one be given the remaining 8%. 

Sources said that the report was being ''studied'' and a decision about its implementation could be taken in the next few days.

The SP-BSP alliance, if materialises, may make things difficult for the saffron party in the next Lok Sabha polls as was evident in the three by-polls to the Lower House in the past few months in which the BJP had to suffer a humiliating defeat.

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BJP's to counter SP-BSP tie up by dividing quota

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