The complex issue of providing quota in promotions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCs/STs) appears to be fast turning into a major headache for the government, which is struggling to normalise the ongoing winter session of Parliament, paralysed by its decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail sector.
The UPA government’s problem is compounded by the fact that the two traditional rivals of Uttar Pradesh — BSP and SP — both of whom provide it crucial outside support, are at loggerheads on the issue.
The BSP has been strident in its demand, seeking an amendment to the constitution in an attempt to restore the quota for SCs/STs, which the Supreme Court had declared as “illegal” on April 28.
The SP, on the other hand, is strongly opposed to reservation in promotions. The UPA government, has however, shown inclination towards accepting the BSP’s demand and had introduced the constitution amendment bill in the Rajya Sabha during the monsoon session.
Led by party chief Mayawati, BSP MPs have regularly disrupted proceedings in both houses during the first three days of the winter session. Even during Monday’s all-party meeting to resolve the deadlock on the issue of FDI in the retail sector, Mayawati stuck to her demand on the quota bill.
The SP termed the bill as ridiculous. “This is absolutely wrong and this should not be done. People have been waiting for 30 years for getting promoted and working hard for it, what will happen to them?” SP MP Jaya Bachchan remarked.
Her colleague, Naresh Aggarwal said the SP will not allow the quota bill to be passed.
The SP, however, appears to be isolated on the issue. All political parties except it had backed the demand for quota in promotions for SCs/STs in the all-party meeting convened by PM Manmohan Singh on August 21.
The proposed bill seeks to amend at least four articles of the constitution to enable the government to provide quota in promotions. It seeks to remove the term “inadequate representation”, mentioned in Article 16 (4) to justify reservation in promotion and appointments.
Nitish says no to FDI
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar categorically said here on Monday that he would never allow FDI to enter the retail sector in Bihar. He also lent his support to the demand by the opposition parties for a discussion on the issue in the Lok Sabha under rule 184, which entails voting.
“The matter must be discussed in Parliament and voted upon,” said Kumar. HTC, Patna