BSP, BJP oppose reservation status change of 2 LS seats

The BSP and BJP have raised objections to the the Election Commission's proposal to change the reservation status of Mirzapur and Robertsganj Lok Sabha constituencies.

Chief Electoral Officer Umesh Sinha had Saturday called a meeting of all recognised national and state parties to inform them about the proposal to change the reservation status of two LS constituencies and eight Assembly seats.

Mirzapur is currently an unreserved parliamentary constituency and the EC has proposed to reserve it for Scheduled Castes (SCs). Robertsganj LS seat is currently reserved for the SCs and the Commission has proposed to de-reserve it.

BSP's representative and former minister Rakesh Dhar Tripathi, who has been declared party's candidate from Mirzapur, objected to the EC's proposal to reserve the Mirzapur LS constituency. According to sources, Tripathi said Mirzapur was proposed to be reserved according to the SC population counted in 2001census. He reportedly said the population of general and SCs have changed in the past 13 years.

Sources also said the BSP appealed to implement the proposed reservation after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

BJP's representative Shyamnandan Singh said the population of SCs in Mirzapur was less than in Rae Bareli, but the latter was not being reserved so as to leave it for Congress president Sonia Gandhi to contest from the seat.

"Four of five Assembly seats in Mirzapur were general, but the EC would still reserve the parliamentary seat," Singh said.

Congress's representative Kamal Yaqoob said very little time was given to discuss the issue with local party leaders. "The meeting was called today while December 16 is the last date for filing the objections," Yaqoob said.

Other parties, including RLD, alleged discrepancies in the population figures being used to change the reservation status of these seats.

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