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NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind opposed reservations for Christians and Muslims in 2010

New Delhi: Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind was announced as the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) Presidential candidate who is known for his controversial statement in 2010 when he was newly-appointed as BJP spokesperson. He spoke against the Misra Commission’s report on reservations for minority groups.

opposing the recommendations of the National Religious and Linguistic Minorities Commission Kovind said the recommendation would make Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims “eligible to contest elections on reserved seats under backward class reservation.”

“If the government accepts the Ranganath Mishra Commission recommendations, the convert Christians and Muslims would become eligible to contest on seats reserved for Scheduled Castes. Thus the people of Scheduled Castes would have to share their reservations in government jobs and political fields with convert Christians and Muslims,” he said.

When asked why Sikh Dalits were given quota privilege and not Muslims and Christians, he said: “Islam and Christianity are alien to the nation.”

He had added: “The educational level of Scheduled Caste children remains much lower than that of convert Dalits and Muslims. The children of converts will grab major share of reservation in government jobs. They would become eligible to contest elections on seats reserved for Scheduled Castes. This would encourage conversion and fatally destroy the fabric of Indian society. The Misra commission report should be scrapped because (its recommendations) will jeopardise the interests of Scheduled Castes.”

Kovind was picked up by BJP chief Amit Shah. He made the announcement after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with him and other top BJP leaders.