In a move to woo the backward classes ahead of Assembly and general elections, BSP supremo Mayawati on Wednesday asked the Union Government to ensure their reservation in the private sector by amending Constitution.
The demand raised by the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister is contrary to the position taken by the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre, which so far has preferred affirmative action by the private sector instead of bringing any legislation.
"The policy of reservation should be extended to the private and other sectors and it should be included in the Nineth Schedule of the Constitution," she said through an advertisement in several newspapers.
The advertisement comes ahead of the Assembly elections, which are due in 10 states, including Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka this year and general elections in 2009.
Mayawati also urged the Centre to widen the ambit of job reservation policy to include upper class poors and SC/STs who had embraced Islam and Christianity.
Making a case for doing away with the job reservation limit 50 per cent, she said, "Adequate additional reservation should be provided to such persons of scheduled castes who were converted to Muslim or Christian, maintaining the present .. Quota of reservation for scheduled castes."
The Chief Minister wanted the private sector reservation policy to be included in the Nineth Schedule of the Constitution so as to make it difficult for anyone to challenge the provisions in a court of law.