'Where Are The Jobs?' Questions Union Minister Nitin Gadkari On Demands For Reservation

| August 5 , 2018 , 10:17 IST

Amidst the Maratha community in Maharashtra conducting extended protests demanding reservation in jobs and education, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari in the state's Aurangabad district on Sunday was quoted as saying that even if reservation is granted, there is a shortage of jobs.

“Let us assume the reservation is given. But there are no jobs. Because in banks, the jobs have shrunk because of IT. The government recruitment is frozen. Where are the jobs?” Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India said to PTI.

According to Gadkari, development, industrialisation and good prices for rural produce would ease the economic distress the Maratha community is suffering from, rather than reservations in jobs.

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Claiming that "backwardness is becoming a political interest,” Gadkari said, “Everyone says I am backward. In Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Brahmins are strong. They dominate politics. (And) They say they are backward."

He added, "So one school of thought is that a poor is poor, he has no caste, creed or language. Whatever may be the religion — the Muslim, the Hindu or the Maratha (a caste), in all communities there is one section which has no clothes to wear, no food to eat. One school of thought also is (that) we must also consider the poorest of the poor section in every community.”

In a tweet later on, Union Minister Gadkari clarified that there is 'absolutely' no thinking at the central government to change the reservation criteria from caste based to economic condition based.

"My attention has been drawn to certain media reports attributed to me. There is absolutely no thinking at the central government to change the reservation criteria from castes to economic conditions" tweeted Gadkari.

Meanwhile, Gadkari urged the Maratha protesters to maintain peace and that Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is attempting to resolve the Maratha reservation demands by conducting talks with the concerned parties.

The statements from Nitin Gadkari come at a time when the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre is facing criticism from the Opposition over lack of employment.