- Union minister Nitin Gadkari was speaking about Maratha quota protests
- "Jobs have shrunk in banks because of IT," he said
- "Must consider poorest of poor in every community," Mr Gadkari said
Stating that reservation will not guarantee employment as jobs are shrinking, Union minister Nitin Gadkari today said there is a "school of thought" which wants policy-makers to consider the poorest of poor in every community.
Nitin Gadkari made the remarks responding to reporters' questions on the ongoing agitation by the Marathas for reservation and similar demands by other communities in Maharashtra.
"Let's us assume the reservation is given. But there are no jobs. Because in banks, the jobs have shrunk because of IT. The government recruitment is frozen. Where are the jobs?" he asked.
"The problem with the quota is that backwardness is becoming a political interest. Everyone says I am backward. In Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Brahmins are strong. They dominate politics. (And) They say they are backward," the senior BJP leader said.
"So one school of thought is that a poor person is a poor person, he has no caste, creed or language. Whatever may be the religion -- the Muslim, the Hindu or the Maratha (a caste), in all communities there is one section which has no clothes to wear, no food to eat.
"One school of thought also is (that) we must also consider the poorest of the poor section in every community," he said.
This is a "socio-economic thinking" and it must not be politicised, the Union Minister said.
Maintaining that Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was trying to resolve the Maratha quota demand by holding talks, Mr Gadkari urged people to maintain peace.
"The responsible political parties must not add fuel to the fire," he added.
The development, the industrialisation and the good prices for rural produce would ease the economic distress that the Maratha community is suffering from, he said.