Amid raging controversy on the issue of reservation for Muslims, the Congress party Monday said it was opposed to reservation based on religion.
"What Veerappa Moily and Antulay have said is not new. The party has been advocating reservation to all socially and educationally backwards irrespective of any religion," party spokesman Satyavrat Chaturvedi told reporters at the AICC briefing.
Replying to a question, he, however, made it clear that the Congress was opposed to religion based reservation. Chaturvedi, who was subjected to a volley of questions on the contentious matter, said the Congress had favoured reservation for all backwards in the party manifesto for the 2004 Lok Sabha elections.
He, however, said that since Congress has not come to power on its own and was part of a coalition, it would hold consultations with allies to arrive at a consensus on the issue. Minister for Minority Affairs A R Antulay had favoured inclusion of Dalit Muslims and Christians in the reserved category of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Moily , chairman of the Administrative Reforms Commission had said that reservation for Muslims should have been part of the Constitution.