UPA attempting deviations in Constitution: Advani

via PTI | Kochi published on April 26, 2008

UPA attempting deviations in Constitution: Advani

PTI | Kochi

Posted online: April 26, 2008

BJP veteran LK Advani on Saturday accused the Congress-led UPA Government of attempting to deviate from the Constitution by proposing reservation on the basis of religion to bring Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims under the ambit of SC/ST reservation.

Addressing a meeting of leaders of various SC/ST organisations in Kerala, Advani said that the UPA Government since it came to power had been trying to make two major deviations in the Constitutional scheme adopted by Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel and followed by all Governments till 2004.

“It is the Manmohan Singh Government which for the first time tried to give reservation on the basis of religion and attempting to thrust the Dalit Christians and Muslims on the Scheduled Caste-Schedule Tribes,” he said.

The strength of the SC/ST community in Kerala is 35 lakh and the Congress wants to put an additional burden on the community by bringing in another 45 lakh Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims under this category of reservation, the BJP veteran said.

“I can understand your anguish and pain and I have come to identify myself with you,” he said.

“Not only the BJP, but the Constitution makers are there with you. Their memories are also being violated by these attempts,” Advani said.

He said that though conversion was permitted in India, it was prohibited in many countries like Indonesia and Afghanistan and added that in Afghanistan, conversion entails capital punishment, whereas in India, the right to freedom of religion means freedom to convert. “Our Constitution allows conversion,” he said.

The constitutional assembly of Independent India met and framed its Constitution, Advani said, adding that the “more one studies constitutional assembly debates, the more we will respect those who framed the Constitution like Dr Ambedkar, Sardar Patel and Nehru.”

The original draft of the Constitution considered reservation for all sections of society, but following the ‘bad experience’ with separate electorates, which resulted in partition, the makers of the Constitution decided that there would be no reservation on the basis of religion, he said.

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