UPA trying to make deviations in Constitution, says Advani

Kochi, Apr 26 | Updated: Apr 27 2008, 06:46am hrs
Senior BJP leader L K Advani today accused the Congress-led UPA government of attempting to deviate from the Constitution by proposing reservation on the basis of religion to bring Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims under the ambit of SC/ST reservation.

Addressing a meeting of leaders of various SC/ST organisations in Kerala, he said the UPA government since it came to power had been trying to make two major deviations in the Constitutional scheme adopted by Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel and followed by all governments till 2004.

It is the Manmohan Singh government which for the first time tried to give reservation on the basis of religion and attempting to thrust the Dalit Christians and Muslims on the Scheduled Caste-Schedule Tribes, he said.

The strength of the SC/ST community in Kerala is 35 lakh and the Congress wants to put an additional burden on the community by bringing in another 45 lakh Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims under this category of reservation, he said. I can understand your anguish and pain and I have come to identify myself with you, he said.

Not only the BJP, but the Constitution makers are there with you. Their memories are also being violated by these attempts, he added.

Advani said though conversion is permitted in India, it was prohibited in many countries like Indonesia and Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan, conversion entails capital punishment. In India, the right to freedom of religion means freedom to convert. Our Constitution allows conversion, he said. The Constitutional Assembly of Independent India met and framed its Constitution, Advani said.