Opposing the central government's move to withdraw the reservation facility for higher positions in select elite educational institutions, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Wednesday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to stall a related bill, proposed to be tabled before parliament Thursday.
"I fail to understand what is the objective of the UPA government behind such a move which simply seems to convey that members of the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) do not deserve to hold senior positions in 47 central government run institutes across the country," Mayawati told a press conference here.
Prominent among these were all Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), all Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), all National Institutes of Technology (NITs), the Aligarh Muslim University, Benaras Hindu University, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, and Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Chandigarh.
The proposed enactment would do away with the practice of reservations on all posts at the class I level - in case of educational institutions, like readers and professors.
"I have just faxed a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking immediate withdrawal of this bill," the chief minister said.
"If the central government fails to do so, then the Congress party and its UPA allies will have to pay its price at the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections," she warned.
Accusing the Congress of being "anti-Dalit" right from the beginning and attributing the provision for reservations in jobs solely to her party's icon Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, Mayawati wondered "why such a move had been initiated to withdraw a facility that had prevailed for 61 years since independence?"
She has also appealed to all other political parties to intervene in the matter and "disallow the central government from enacting a law that would only harm the interest of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes across the country."