New Delhi: Amid reports that Home Minister Rajnath Singh may be the BJP's chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh, two former party MPs on Friday accused the former chief minister of dividing the backward community to help the state's now ruling Samajwadi Party (SP).
"The activities of Rajnath Singh are anti-backward and he is trying to divide the community. The party leadership should take cognizance of this before deciding anything," former Azamgarh MP Ramakant Yadav told IANS.
He said Rajnath Singh's thinking was anti-backward and this would benefit the SP.
"Until the party rejects his idea of quota within quota, we will keep opposing it. His idea is not in the party's interest. It will benefit the SP," said Ramakant Yadav, who fought against SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
"The backward community was united during the Lok Sabha polls. This was the reason we got 71 (of the 80) seats in the state," Ramakant Yadav added.
Two other seats were won by a BJP ally, Apna Dal. The Congress won only two seats and the SP five. The Bahujan Samaj Party drew a blank.
Addressing a social justice meet at Mau in Uttar Pradesh, Rajnath Singh said on Thursday that a quota within quota system would be implemented in the state again if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power.
"The state and the nation can't develop well without the progress of the most backward castes. To ensure their growth, they need a separate quota. The benefits of reservation meant for Scheduled Castes and other backward classes should not be confined to a few castes only," Rajnath Singh said.
The apprehensions expressed by Ramakant Yadav, a four-time former MP and four-time former state legislator, is seen as his opposition to Rajnath Singh, tipped to be the BJP's chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh. The elections are due next year.
On Thursday, Rajnath Singh denied he was in the contention. The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said he would extend "his full support" to whoever was named for the post.
Meanwhile, another former party MP, Daroga Prasad Saroj, also criticised Rajnath Singh's idea of quota within quota.
"If there is quota within quota, the country will get divided. The country can't move ahead. If the party wants this I have no objections as I am ready to abide by the party decisions," Saroj told IANS.