The government is likely to extend the promotion quota benefits to the other backward castes to placate its outside supporting partner, the Samajwadi Party.
The government is making last-minute changes in its Constitution amendment bill — seeking to restore the quota for SC-STs in promotions — to accommodate OBCs also.
The government has been forced to do a balancing act since the two main parties providing it support from outside — the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party — are bitter rivals in Uttar Pradesh and have taken opposite stands on the issue.
In the all-party meeting held on Tuesday night, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that the government favoured a Constitution amendment to restore the promotion quota for SC-STs, despite strong opposition by the Samajwadi Party.
It all started with the Supreme Court striking down on April 28 the decision of the erstwhile UP government headed by Mayawati to provide reservation for SC-STs in promotion to higher posts.
“No proper exercise has been carried out to justify the decision,” the court said.
The BSP chief raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha during the budget session and demanded a Constitution amendment. She raised it again on August 9 during the current session and got support from many parties, forcing the government to convene an all-party meeting.
With Mayawati's demand met, the Congress leadership does not want make Mulayam Singh Yadav unhappy and has decided to extend him an olive branch by offering the quota facility to his core constituency.