“There seem to be a lot of hurdles in the passage of the reservation in promotion for SC/ST bill. BJP is in favour of social justice for SC/ST but within constitutional parameters,” BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said Monday. However, he refused to elaborate whether the present bill was “within” such parameters.
A BJP leader, however, on condition of anonymity said the constitution amendment bill may in fact open the floodgates for a creamy layer among the SCs, which is not applicable. Party leaders are also apprehensive whether the setting aside of article 335 — which provides for SC/ST quotas consistent with efficiency of administration — for the purpose of providing quotas in promotion would not make the courts strike it down.
Senior leader Arun Jaitley attended an all-party meeting with the Rajya Sabha Chairman to resolve the logjam over the bill, with the SP dead against it. The BJP — which has a core upper caste constituency in north India — also fears that the SP may take away a slice of its core vote by opposing the move.
However, the party seems in no hurry to get the bill passed, particularly after Mayawati launched a scathing attack on it during the FDI debate. So, BJP leaders are fine with the SP - the only open opponent of the quota - repeatedly blocking it in the House.