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Sharad's plea to parties over Ninth Schedule

india Updated: Jan 23, 2007 19:37 IST
Anil Anand
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The raging debate over the Supreme Court ruling on the veracity of the Constitution's Ninth Schedule has taken another turn with Janata Dal-U chief Sharad Yadav suggesting a joint strategy by the political parties to counter the judgement's side-effects.

Terming the Apex court's verdict as a step "to expose the nation to the danger of split", Yadav has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to convene an all party meeting to discuss the issue.

Blaming the UPA government for not taking "due note" of the judgement, he said the Supreme Court empowering itself to review Acts under the Schedule particularly those pertaining to reservation has "endangered the country's unity."

Yadav maintained that two vital laws on land ceiling and Tamil Nadu reservation issue included in Ninth Schedule should be protected.

A strategy on this should be chalked-out by the Centre in consultation with the political parties.

"Any aberrations in the Schedule should be removed. But these vital laws having direct bearing on the society should be retained at all costs," he said in a letter written to the PM.

Yadav expressed apprehension that Reservation Act of Tamil Nadu providing 69 per cent reservation to SCs/STs/OBCs will be soon set aside by the apex court. "The fire should be extinguished before it flares up," he cautioned.

However, he refused to back the demand for a new Constitution as raised in TN Assembly. The provisions relating to social reforms should be protected under the existing Constitution for which onus lay on the UPA dispensation, he felt.

The former Union Minister clarified that he had the highest regard for judiciary. "But I am of the firm opinion that all patriotic people of India must condemn the judgement on the 9th Schedule as it is a step against the process of building the Indian nation," he observed.

Responding to a spate of queries while releasing his letter to the media, Yadav said his views should not be misconstrued as anti-judiciary.

"I do not belittle the judiciary's right to review any decision of the government. But this has to be done within the framework of the Constitution. Judges cannot and must not take the place of MPs and judiciary cannot replace Parliament," he further said.

Email Anil Anand: aanand @hindustantimes.com

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