Surprised at Akhilesh remarks on Muslim quota

Lucknow: Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh today expressed surprise at Samajwadi Party state President Akhilesh Yadav`s statement of extending support if the Centre gives 18 per cent quota to Muslims saying it was well known that reservation cannot exceed 50 per cent.

"I read a statement of Akhilesh Yadav wherein he has said that the SP was ready to extend support if Congress government gives 18 per cent reservation to Muslims," Digvijay told reporters here.

"I would have not been surprised if Mulayam Singh Yadav had given such a statement, but this coming from a well educated person like Akhilesh is surprising," he added.

He said that SP leaders knew that reservation cannot exceed 50 per cent as there was a Supreme Court capping on it.

"For this constitutional amendment is needed and neither Congress nor SP has absolute majority," he said.

The Congress leader said that when the party was in power in Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, quota was given to the minorities, but not on religious grounds.

"When the party came to power in 2004, Sachar committee was constituted to examine the social status of Muslims, which recommended a quota within quota," he said.

He said that in 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the party in its manifesto promised quota to minorities and fulfilled it.

"As far as Mulayam Singh is concerned he never made any mention of this nor took any action in this direction," he alleged.

The Congress leader accused the SP supremo of making false promises. "In 1996 Mulayam said he will abolish sales tax, but trade tax was introduced in its place. Without the consent of the centre or constitutional amendment, he included several OBC castes into SC/ST due to which problems were faced," he alleged.

Digvijay said, "Mulayam Singh Yadav`s record is not clear. He keeps ideology aside for power politics". He alleged that Mulayam never gives any statement against the BJP and has kept all the doors open.

He also attacked Varun Gandhi for his statement of SP emerging as the single largest party in UP elections. "Varun Gandhi`s statement of SP being the single largest party and BJP out of race is a sattire on his own party," he alleged.

Digvijay demanded that after Lokayukta report a probe by ED and CBI should be conducted into assets of cabinet minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui and a case should be lodged under Prevention of Corruption Act.

"Mayawati has removed 21 ministers but all ministries were given to Naseemuddin Siddiqui. The CM must tell whether she would remove Siddiqui like Babu Singh Kushwaha," he said.

He said that if Congress forms the government in the state action would be taken against ministers, officers and traders indulging into corruption. He also demanded that CBI inquiry should be conducted in all deaths related to NRHM.