On the eve of its international conference on Dalits and minorities, to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) made a forceful plea for providing reservations to Muslims not only in government jobs but in the private sector and security forces too.
At its meeting on Tuesday, the party's national executive passed a political resolution demanding that the Muslims be given reservations in government jobs in proportion to their population in the country with a view to improve their economic, social and educational conditions.
Appreciating the Sachar Committee report on the condition of Muslims, the party called for a time-bound policy of reservations for increasing the community's representation in government services as well as banks, public and private sector oganisations.
"The dalit and minority issue has become a national agenda. No one can ignore it any longer," party chief and union minister Paswan stated on the occasion. Observing that the need of the hour was to bring the dalits and minorities together to forge a power centre, he said the international conference was being organised to create wider social awareness on the issue.
Being organised in the Parliament House complex, the two day conference will be a high-profile affair where several top ministers of the UPA Government will address the participants during different sessions. Coming ahead of the crucial UP Assembly elections, the importance of the meet for the UPA is obvious.
The inaugural session will be attended by two former Prime Ministers, VP Singh and IK Gujral, besides Manmohan Singh. Among the Cabinet ministers to attend the conference will be Shivraj Patil, Pranab Mukherji, Arjun Singh, Meira Kumar, Sushil Kumar Shinde, AR Antulay and Saifuddin Soz.
Its participants will include several eminent members of the dalit and Muslim communities from all over India as well as several foreign countries. On day one, the conference is slated to discuss dalit reservations after presentation of a paper on the subject. A comprehensive paper on quota for minorities, particularly Muslims, will be presented on the second day to be followed by another round of discussions.
Email Hemendra Singh Bartwal: hsbartwal @hindustantimes.com