10% quota for poor was your jumla: Arun Jaitley’s comeback to Congress in Lok Sabha
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who sought to address concerns raised by the Congress’s first speaker on the quota bill, pulled out the Congress’s manifesto for the 2014 elections to remind the opposition party that it should support the initiative whole-heartedly, not grudgingly. (Click here for LIve updates)
Reading out from the Congress’s manifesto that promised quotas for economically weaker sections of the society, Arun Jaitley said manifestos of most parties promise reservation to economically weaker sections of the society, and “their commitment to their promise is put to test today”.
“I request all to support the motion,” said Arun Jaitley.
Prof. KV Thomas of the Congress had been the first to speak on the bill that introduces the concept of reservation at a national level on the basis of a person’s economic status rather than community. He, however, wanted the bill to go through greater scrutiny and be referred to a standing committee.
The Congress has questioned the timing of the NDA government’s initiative that comes months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections; even its intentions. But the party has clarified from the beginning that it will support the constitution amendment bill that had been introduced in parliament just hours earlier.
Prof. Thomas also asked how the government would be able to implement the quota for private educational institutions which don’t get aid from the government. He also cited studies to taunt the government, arguing that millions of people had lost their jobs.
Jaitley did not respond to the employment statistics, adding that he would talk about it some other day.
But he read out from the Congress’s manifesto that promised quotas for economically weaker sections of the society. “This jumla had come from them (Congress),” he said, delivering a stinging comeback.
Arun Jaitley said manifestos of most parties promise reservation to economically weaker sections of the society, and “their commitment to their promise is put to test today”. “I request all to support the motion,” said Arun Jaitley.
Other opposition parties such as the Trinamool Congress, AIADMK and even the BJP ally, Shiv Sena, did not explicitly take a very hard stance against the bill. But the AIADMK’s M Thambidurai did question the concept of reservation on economic criteria, rather than social status. It will be struck down by the courts, he predicted.
Shiv Sena’s Anandrao Adsul did also taunt the government for taking so long to bring in the constitution amendment but asserted that it would, nevertheless, support the initiative.