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Modi govt only doing 'politics of symbolism' with regard to Dalits, backwards, tribals: Cong

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Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh (File image)

New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday alleged that there is a "conspiracy" to end reservation given to SCs, STs and OBCs for posts in higher education institutions, and claimed that the Modi government is only doing "politics of symbolism" with regard to Dalits, backward classes and tribals.

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Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh shared a media report on X which said that the University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued draft guidelines for de-reserving vacancies meant for the scheduled castes (SC), the scheduled tribes (SC) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) candidates for posts in higher education institutes (HEIs) and open them up for the general category if enough reserved candidates are not available.

Ramesh demanded that such a proposal should be withdrawn immediately.

In his post in Hindi, Ramesh said, "A few years ago, RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) chief Mohan Bhagwat had talked about reviewing reservations. Now, there is a conspiracy to end the reservation given to SCs, STs and OBCs in higher education institutions." "This proposal of the UGC is in line with the intentions of Mohan Bhagwat and is clearly injustice to Dalits, tribals and backward people," he said.

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Recently, when Karpoori Thakur was given the Bharat Ratna, Rahul Gandhi had said that the country needs "real justice" and not "politics of symbolism", Ramesh noted.

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Former Bihar chief minister and socialist leader Thakur was awarded the Bharat Ratna posthumously. The Modi government is only doing "politics of symbolism" when it comes to Dalits, backward classes and tribals, Ramesh claimed.

"Their real intention is once again revealed through this proposal of the UGC," Ramesh said. He added that "our fight is against this injustice and the continuous attacks on Baba Saheb's Constitution". This proposal to end reservation in colleges and universities is "completely unacceptable" and should be withdrawn immediately, Ramesh said.

The 'Guidelines for Implementation of the Reservation Policy of the Government of India in Higher Education Institutes (HEIs)' are in the public domain for feedback from stakeholders.

The guidelines have been receiving backlash from several quarters. The JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) has announced a protest against it.

"A vacancy reserved for SC or ST or OBC cannot be filled by a candidate other than an SC or ST or OBC candidate, as the case may be. However, a reserved vacancy may be declared unreserved by following the procedure of de-reservation where after, it can be filled as an unreserved vacancy," the draft guidelines read.

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