Bihar’s deputy chief minister and the a senior BJP functionary faced considerable embarrassment on Friday after his own party’s youth wing workers staged protests against reservation in outsourced contractual appointments made by the state government.
The angry youth BJP workers also shouted slogans against Modi for supporting the move.
Hundreds of slogan-shouting leaders and workers of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, with saffron flags, banners and badges on forehead, took out a march and staged a dharna outside the main gate of BJP state headquarters, reported IANS.
They were demanding a roll back of the reservation decision taken by the BJP-JD-U government led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and threatened to launch a statewide protest if their demands are not considered.
The workers also expressed their anger against the Deputy Chief Minister for supporting reservation, saying it is against the interest of upper caste youths, who are jobless.
“We have protested against Modi, who has supported reservation in outsourced jobs… That is why we have chosen to stage dharna outside the BJP office,” a protesting worker said.
Modi, who belongs to the Baniya caste, one of the powerful OBCs, has publicly supported the reservation move and claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party was on board with the decision.
However senior BJP leader and former Union Minister C.P. Thakur had earlier opposed the measure, saying reservations are not appropriate in outsourcing as this “may lead to social and public unrest that may become difficult to handle”.
BJP MLC Sachidanand Rai also openly expressed his displeasure with the government’s move. “I am not totally against the idea of reservation. But I strongly oppose the extending of quota in the outsourced jobs.”
Both Thakur and Rai belong to powerful upper caste Bhumihar.
Last week, the Bihar Cabinet approved reservation in contractual appointments made by the state government through outsourcing. Nitish Kumar subsequently said that he favours reservation in private sector jobs.
Ignoring criticism of his proposal, Nitish Kumar said: “There must be a debate on reservation in private sector at the national level.”