'No reservation for converted Dalits'
Express News Service Posted online: Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 0257 hrs
Lucknow : Former Bharatiya Janta Party MP from Gujarat, Ratilal Verma,
has demanded that Dalits who have converted to Islam and Christianity
should not be given reservation along with the others.
The former chairperson of the Rashtriya Anusuchit Jati Evam Janjati
Prakoshth of the Union government said such reservation will hamper
the development of Dalits. Verma said this while addressing
mediapersons in Lucknow on Tuesday.
"Dalits who have adopted other religions have done so to get benefits
and social security. But by giving them reservation under the SC/ST
quota, the UPA government will do injustice to those who are already
marginalised," said Verma.
"We have collected around 5 lakh signatures against this move, which
has already been submitted to President Pratibha Patil," he added.
Verma claimed Dalits already have a very small share in the
development agenda. "They have a very small quota and this should
majorly focus on them. Those who have converted have lost their
identity as Dalits. Hence, it is unfair if they ask for reservation as
Dalits," he said. The SC/ST cell of the BJP, along with other
organisations working for the development of Dalits, will continue to
protest against this move, Verma added.
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