File photo of Narendra Modi. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Saturday that "reservation is here to stay."
"Let there be no doubts about this," he added. Modi made his comments in a freewheeling interview to ANI.
"The objectives of our Constitution and dreams of Dr Babasaheb are still incomplete. It is the responsibility of every one of us to fulfill his dream and reservations are an important tool to achieve this," ANI quoted Modi as saying.
Also read: Full text of the Modi interview
"The dreams of Babasaheb are the strength of this nation and we are committed to fulfilling them. Our Mantra is Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and to achieve this, it is most important to protect the rights of the poor, marginalised, downtrodden, Dalits, tribals and OBCs," said Modi.
Modi, in the interview, also attacked people with "vested interests", saying the people who politicise the reservation issue are also the ones who have always crushed Babasaheb dreams.
"Before any crucial election, there are vested interest groups who will raise a bogey that Bharatiya Janata Party will abolish reservations and sections of the media will amplify this," ANI quoted Modi as saying.
"They are trying to sow seeds of doubt and mistrust among the weaker sections of society. But, the people of India are wise and they will not believe this propaganda.
Look across the length and breadth of India, maximum MPs and MLAs from SC, ST and OBC communities are from BJP," Modi said.
Interestingly, before the 2015 Bihar elections, it was RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat who had said he favours a review of the country's reservation policy. The BJP's loss in the elections was later blamed on Bhagwat's comment, despite the RSS chief's subsequent backtracking.
(With inputs from ANI)