BJP leader CP Thakur on Saturday demanded an end to reservations in jobs and educational institutions, triggering a row.
"Reservations should end in jobs and educational institutions," Thakur, a former union minister and BJP national vice president, told media persons in Patna.
He was reacting to the Congress's promise to provide reservations to socio-economically backward Muslims.
Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan, an ally of the BJP-led NDA, was quick to express his disagreement. "I do not agree with Thakur. Reservation is the right of Dalits and weaker sections of society in the country. Reservation should continue," Paswan said. Paswan, a popular Dalit leader, said that there was no need to end reservations in the country.
The opposition Congress and its ally Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) also criticised Thakur. "Thakur has again exposed the BJP's anti-Dalit and anti-weaker section mindset by demanding an end to reservations in the country," said senior Congress leader Satyavarat Chaturvedi, who is also incharge of the party in Bihar.
RJD leader Chandeshwar Prasad Singh said BJP was against reservations.