The Supreme Court refusal to stay Andhra Pradesh High Court order quashing 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities led to a political slugfest with BJP accusing the ruling party of raking up "communal agenda" and Congress hitting back terming it as "Sultan of communalism".
"Congress has been steadfastedly and continuously following the communal agenda. We saw it in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. Inspite of the results in these elections giving the message that voters have rejected the communal agenda, Congress has not learnt its lesson," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters here.
Reacting sharply to it, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said that he was "suprised to hear the word communalism from BJP" adding that the Opposition party is "Sultan of communalism" and it has "vitiated" communal harmony in the country.
The Supreme Court today refused to stay a Andhra Pradesh High Court order quashing 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities in central educational institutions like IITs and ticked off the government for the way it has handled the "complex" and "sensitive" issue.
BJP welcomed the Supreme Court decision. Congress, however, downplayed the decision saying there was "nothing unusual" in the Supreme Court's order.
Accusing the Congress party of pursuing a policy of appeasement of minorities and ruling by "divide and rule", Sitharaman said, "They (Congree) do not have the conviction to run this country on an agenda which will benefit all. They want to have this divide and rule policy and appeasement politics."
Tewari said, "There is nothing unusual in it(court order). Nothing much should be read into it...if Court has made any observation, the central government will look into it. The government will present its position before the court. We hope that the court will accept our position," Tewari said.
He also made it clear that Congress fully backs the government on the issue stating "those who are marginalised should be brought into the mainstream."