Lakhs of government employees stayed away from their offices in Uttar Pradesh for the second day on Friday as they protested the Centre's move for reservation in promotions in government jobs.
The UPA government moved the SC/ST promotion quota bill in Parliament on Thursday.
UP is feeling the heat as the main political parties - ruling SP and Mayawati's BSP - are slugging it out in the Rajya Sabha in favour and against, respectively.
According to Sarvjan Hitai Sanrakshan Samiti, which is spearheading the agitation, over 18 lakh employees, barring those involved in essential services -such as power, water, health and transport sectors - participated in the strike. Samiti president Shailendra Dubey said the bill was "dangerous" and would severely damage careers in the government. "The strike would continue till the government withdraws the bill," he added.
On the other hand, claiming that almost 10 lakh employees worked for four hours extra in favour of the move, the pro-reservation Aarakshan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, alleged that pro-reservation departmental heads had got the offices locked.
Nitish backs quota
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said here on Friday he favoured the promotion bill for SCs and STs, as these sections continued to lag behind at educational and social levels. "They must be provided quota in promotions as they have not yet reached the desired level of progress."