With Gujarat polls just within a fortnight away, the campaign is only getting intense and sharp. While, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad accused the Congress of misguiding the Patidar community over the issue of reservation, former union minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram targeted the BJP over economy and questioned ‘Achhe Din’.
Targeting Congress party’s much talked about alliance with Patidaar sub-community leader Hardik Patel, Prasad asked them to reveal the roadmap for reservation as agreed by the two allies.
The issue of reservation for Patidaars have brought Hardik-led PAAS in loggerheads with the ruling BJP. Hardik was the face of violent agitation last year which shook the state government and then Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.
The Union minister, while referring to seven different Supreme Court judgements, including a 1992 verdict, alleged that the Congress’ reservation talk is “height of political opportunism” aimed only at getting Patidar votes during the next month’s Gujarat Assembly polls.
“There are seven different judgements about reservation, including the 1992 Indra Sawhney judgement, which clearly says that we can’t cross the 50 per cent cap,” the minister said.
“Is it a mere eyewash or cheating? If it is being done for getting votes, then it must stop,” he said, as he demanded Congress to reveal its roadmap as to how they would breach the 50 per cent cap set by the SC.
Last week, Patidar leader Hardik Patel announced his support to the Congress for the upcoming Gujarat polls, stating that the party has promised to give reservation under Article 31(C) of the Constitution, if voted to power.
Hardik had said that reservation formula given by the Congress for his community will be over and above the present 50 per cent quota and opined that the 50 per cent cap set by the Supreme Court was just a “suggestion” and can be breached if the sate government wants.
Meanwhile, Congress leader P Chidambaram attacked the ruling party for evading issues involving the Indian economy.
Chidambaram said the prime minister does not talk about issues like joblessness, lack of investment, collapse of SMEs, stagnant exports and price risebecause he has no answers to the “hard reality”.
(With inputs from PTI)