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Rahul Gandhi urged to introduce quota for financially weaker sections bringing all communities under its ambit and at the same time end reservations along caste lines by senior Congress leader Janardan Dwivedi today.
Dwivedi's pitch to end caste-based reservation, that could raise many eyebrows, comes at a time when the Congress is pursuing minority sub quota, supporting reservation in promotion for SCs/STs and appears favourably disposed towards reservation for Jats.
Rahul Gandhi now stands boxed in between two opposing stances.
"This (reservation on caste lines) should have come to an end. Why it did not happen so far was because vested interests got into the process. Does the real needy person even among the Dalits and backward castes get the benefits of reservation? Those in the upper crust of these communities only avail the benefits. There is a difference between social justice and casteism.
"The concept of social justice has now turned into casteism... I believe there is a need to dismantle this.... Since Rahul Gandhiji is seeking views of people directly for the party manifesto, I am now urging him that he should take a bold decision," the party general secretary said.
"Reservation on the basis of economic condition of people should be talked about. Rahul Gandhi is the future leader of Congress. Only one, who rises above all this and breaks the boundaries of caste and communalism will be the future leader of the country.Only then a society on the basis of equality can be built," Dwivedi said.
The forthright comments on such a sensitive issues by the otherwise reticent party general secretary have come at a time when the party is gearing up for the Lok Sabha polls.
Justifying his pitch for ending caste-based reservations, he said the situation has changed from the past and "now no person has the moral courage to publicly endorse casteism."
Dwivedi said that he came in politics through the youth movement in 1960s, whose main plank was to break the barriers of caste.
Asked whether reservations, which were meant to be temporary when first unveiled, should continue like they does now, Dwivedi said it is a "difficult and sensitive question".
The Congress leader, who maintains that his party should not have formed an alliance government in 2009 despite getting 206 seats as it had sought mandate for a Congress government, also appeared in disagreement with the concept of UPA III for 2014 saying, "Now in