In a bold political move aimed at consolidating the Samajwadi Party’s Muslim vote bank, the Akhilesh Yadav government on Tuesday announced 20% reservation to minorities in public welfare schemes.
“We have fulfilled the promise we made in our election manifesto,” chief minister Akhilesh Yadav told reporters after the cabinet meeting where the decision was taken. “We are trying to implement Sachhar and Rangnath commissions recommendations as far as possible to give the minorities, especially Muslims, their rightful due,” he said.
The decision comes a day after the state government’s decision to ban the VHP’s proposed ‘84 kosi parikrama’ (religious march) to Ayodhya which was to begin on Sunday next. The Samajwadi Party is obviously going overboard to ensure that Muslims stay solidly behind it in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.