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Opposition slams govt over quota in promotions issue

Opposition slams govt over quota in promotions issue

New Delhi: Expressing their dissatisfaction on statement of Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot over the issue of the Supreme Court's observation on reservation in promotions, members of the opposition parties, including Congress and DMK, staged a walkout in Lok Sabha after the government informed the House that the Centre was not a party to the case.

As soon as the Question Hour started on Monday, Opposition members led by Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury sought to raise the issue. He was also joined by members from other parties, including the DMK.

Despite he being assured by Speaker Om Birla to be allowed to raise the issue in Zero Hour, Chowdhury kept raising the issue saying that the government is against the reservation provision to SC/STs, which is unconstitutional and he must be allowed to speak on the issue during Question Hour only.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has accused the BJP and RSS of trying to discontinue the quota system. Hitting out at the government, in a tweet, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said, "BJP & RSS's ideology is against reservations. They never want SC/STs to progress. They are breaking the institutional structure."

"It is in DNA of RSS and BJP to try and erase reservation. I want to tell SC/ST/OBC and Dalits that we will never let reservations come to an end no matter how much Modiji or Mohan Bhagwat dream of it," he said.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Kalyan Banerjee (TMC) targeted the government, saying there has been an onslaught on SC and ST reservations since the Modi government came to power.

Kalyan Banerjee (TMC) said that the Constitution provides that reservation is a constitutional and fundamental right.

However, the government on Monday informed Lok Sabha that the top court order pertains to a 2012 decision of the previous Congress government in Uttarakhand and asserted that the Central government is "committed" and "dedicated" to reservation for SCs, STs, and OBCs. The government also maintained that it was not a party to the case.

Speaking on the issue, LJP president Chirag Paswan asked the Centre to take measures to ensure quota benefits continue as usual. "LJP does not agree with the Supreme Court's decision that reservation in jobs, promotions, is not a fundamental right. We urge the Centre to intervene in this matter," Paswan said in Lok Sabha. LJP is a key ally of BJP.

On the issue, A Raja (DMK) said that there are reasons to believe that the government is not in favour of reservation. "I urge the Central government that they should file a review petition on this and also put the subject in the Ninth Schedule," Raja said.

BSP's Ritesh Pandey alleged that Centre is against SC/ST and Dalits, while Apna Dal's Anupriya Patel also registered her objection and disagreement with the Supreme Court order.

ET Mohammed Basheer (IUML) said that the government cannot be a silent spectator on the matter. CPI (M) member AM Ariff said that the government should file a review petition on this. NCP's Supriya Sule maintained that the government should immediately address the matter.

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