"Tight Slap To Opposition": PM Modi On Calcutta High Court's OBC Ruling

The Calcutta High Court, in its verdict on Wednesday, noted that "religion indeed appears to have been the sole criterion" for declaring these classes as OBCs.

'Tight Slap To Opposition': PM Modi On Calcutta High Court's OBC Ruling

"The Opposition have crossed every limit in their obsession with appeasement," PM Modi said

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday called the Calcutta High Court decision of striking down the OBC status granted to "77 classes" in West Bengal since 2010 a "tight slap" to the opposition and alleged that the INDIA bloc's "obsession with appeasement" has crossed every limit.

The Calcutta High Court, in its verdict on Wednesday, noted that "religion indeed appears to have been the sole criterion" for declaring these classes as OBCs.

Stating that the court's mind is not free from doubt that "the said community (Muslims) has been treated as a commodity for political ends," the bench added, "This is clear from the chain of events that led to the classification of the 77 classes as OBCs and their inclusion to be treated as a vote bank." Addressing an election meeting in Dwarka here, PM Modi said every time he utters the word 'Muslim', he is accused of making communal statements and asserted that he is only "exposing" the opposition "by stating facts".

"Just today, the Calcutta High Court has given a big slap to this INDI alliance. The court has cancelled all OBC certificates issued since 2010. Why? Because the West Bengal government issued unwarranted OBC certificates to Muslims just because of the vote bank."

"They have crossed every limit in their obsession with appeasement," he said.

"These people say that Muslims have the first right to the country's resources. These people are giving government land to the Waqf Board and asking for votes. These people want to reserve 15 per cent budget for minorities. They want to give bank loans, government tenders and even entry into sports on the basis of religion. This is the height of vote bank politics," he charged.

PM Modi and other BJP leaders have repeatedly alleged during the election campaign that the Congress and its allies want to give the OBC quota to Muslims.

He alleged that the opposition was against the CAA but was supporting infiltrators for its vote bank.

"They shed tears over the Batla House encounter and they oppose the ban on triple talaq. They are masters of appeasement."

"The Khan market gang has only one way -- every time Modi uses the word 'Muslim', they accuse him of saying communal things. I am only exposing them with facts. They are doing vote jihad," he claimed.

He said that "Muslim brothers should also recognise" those who have betrayed the Constitution and are deeply communal.

"The people who have betrayed the Constitution of India, now the time has come for the country to recognise such deeply communal people and my Muslim brothers should also recognise them," he said.

The high court gave the verdict on Wednesday on petitions challenging the provisions of the West Bengal's Reservation Act of 2012 and reservations granted in 2010.

The high court clarified that the services of citizens of the struck-down classes, who have availed the benefit of reservation or have succeeded in any selection process of the state, will not be affected by the order.

The number of enlisted persons under OBC in West Bengal after 2010 is likely to be above five lakhs, one of the lawyers representing the petitioners claimed.

In all, the court struck down 77 classes of reservation given between April 2010 and September 2010, and 37 classes created based on the Act of 2012.

The CPI(M)-led Left Front was in power in West Bengal till May 2011 and thereafter the Trinamool Congress government took over.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has asserted that she "will not accept" the Calcutta High Court order and hinted that her government could challenge it in the Supreme Court.

In its order, the HC said that identification of the classes in the Muslim community as OBCs for electoral gains would leave them at the mercy of the political establishment concerned and may defeat and deny other rights.

"Such reservation is therefore also an affront to democracy and the Constitution of India as a whole," the court observed.

While noting that the Constitution and decisions of the courts do not prohibit an identification process to start with religion, the court said, "What is, however, prohibited is the sole reliance on religion for the purpose of making provisions for reservation." 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)