Centre failed to defend reservation system: Oppn parties

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New Delhi, February 10: Opposition parties in Lok Sabha on Monday targeted the government over the Supreme Court order that states are not bound to provide reservation in appointments, saying the Centre has failed to defend the reservation system.
Hitting back, the government said the Congress is trying to politicise a sensitive issue. “This is my charge that the Congress is politicising the sensitive issue,” Defence Minister and deputy leader of the House Rajnath Singh said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi also urged Speaker Om Birla to expunge remarks made by opposition members against the government.
Birla said he would look into the issue.
Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Kalyan Banerjee (TMC) targeted the government, saying there has been an onslaught on SC and ST reservation since the Modi government came to power.
Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot will make a statement on the issue in Lok Sabha later in the day.
While the Congress alleged that the ruling BJP government is not in favour of reservation to these communities, the Centre said opposition parties are politicising this sensitive matter.
Congress members were in the well shouting slogans “Modi Sarkar Hai Hai, Modi Government Shame Shame”.
The Supreme Court has held that states are not bound to provide reservation in appointments and there is no fundamental right to claim quota in promotions.
The apex court was dealing with pleas regarding Uttarakhand government’s September 5, 2012 decision to fill up all posts in public services in the state without providing reservation to SC/STs.
The Defence Minister accused the Congress of politicising this “sensitive” matter and urged members to wait for the statement of Gehlot on the matter.
“Please wait for the minister’s statement. If you will not be satisfied with that, you can request for a debate in the House,” Singh said, adding in 2012 there was a Congress government in Uttarakhand.
Chirag Paswan (LJP) said the government should immediately interfere in the matter and put the reservation subject in the ninth schedule so that no one approaches the Supreme Court on these issues.
He said the order of the court and behaviour of opposition on the matter is impacting a big population of the country.
“I request the central government to strengthen the reservation system. We cannot even discuss the issue of ending reservation,” Paswan said.
Kalyan Banerjee (TMC) said the Constitution provides that reservation is a constitutional and fundamental right.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said that in 2012 there was a Congress government in Uttarakhand and they took a decision on the matter.
“In the matter, the Central government has no role. Our government is committed for reservation,” he said.
A Raja (DMK) said 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.
Rajiv Ranjan (BJP) said it is a “very sensitive” issue and the House has one view on it.
“No politics should happen on this matter,” he said adding the government has taken several steps for the community.
Ritesh Pandey (BSP) allged the central government is against SC/ST and dalits.
Anupriya Patel (Apna Dal) said, “I want to register my objection and disagreement with the Supreme Court’s order and this is very unfortunate also”.
She said one of the reason for such orders are low representation of SC/ST and OBCs in judiciary.
“The government should immediately intervene in the matter,” she said.
E T Mohammed Basheer (IUML) said the government cannot be a silent spectator on the matter.
CPI (M) member A M Ariff said the government should file a review petition on this.
Supriya Sule (NCP) said the government should immediately address the matter.
“We need action, we don’t need only words,” she added. (PTI)