After repeated adjournments in the Rajya Sabha and turmoil in the Lok Sabha, the government today agreed to members' demand for bringing a Constitution amendment Bill for ensuring reservation in promotion of SCs and STs in government jobs.
Minister of state for PMO Mr V Narayansamy told the Upper House that a Bill would be tabled in this regard on 22 August after an all-party meeting on 21 August. “The Prime Minister will call a meeting of leaders of all political parties on 21st of this month to discuss the issue of SC/ST reservation. This has been the demand of the honourbale members. On 22 August, the government will be able to bring the Bill in the House,” Mr Narayanasamy announced. The uproar abated after his statement.
The announcement came after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh talked to the members, including BSP chief Miss Mayawati on the issue in the House when it was adjourned for 15 minutes.
In the Lok Sabha, SP and BSP members trooped to the Well as soon as the House met for the day demanding reservation for SC/STs in promotions in government jobs. With members refusing to relent, Speaker Meira Kumar allowed some of them to speak.
Mr Shailendra Kumar (SP) said government employees belonging to the SC/ST community felt they would not receive promotions without a proper legislation in place. Mr Panna Lal Punia (Congress) said Parliament had given members of the SC/ST community the right to reservation in government jobs. Mr Dara Singh Chauhan (BSP) demanded that SC/ST employees be granted reservation immediately to aid their career progression.
In the Rajya Sabha, BSP supremo Miss Mayawati said the government had promised in the last session to call an all-party meeting to discuss quota in promotion for government employees belonging to the SC and ST communities but the meeting did not take place. Miss Mayawati pointed out that when the matter had been discussed in the House, the parties had reached a near consensus.
Miss Mayawati urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was present, to table in a Constitution amendment Bill on the issue during the ongoing monsoon session. She threatened the House with disruption by BSP members if the matter was not resolved. As she spoke, other BSP members were on their feet and the House witnessed some angry exchanges between BSP and Congress members. Mr Ram Vilas Paswan (LJP), Mr D Raja (CPI), Mr Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) and some other members too spoke.
Parliamentary affairs minister Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal said the matter was of utmost importance but a response to the Supreme Court had to be worked out in such a way that it would stand the test of time. “We cannot do it in a hurry, we have to give a considered response,” Mr Bansal said.
As soon as the Rajya Sabha reassembled, BSP members raised the issue again demanding a response from the government. They trooped into the well shouting slogans “anti-Dalit government will not be allowed to continue” forcing Mr Tariq Anwar, who was in the chair, to adjourn the House for 15 minutes. Some SP members had trooped into the well.
Government managers, including Mr Narayanasamy and minister of state for parliamentary affairs Mr Rajiv Shukla then tried to calm the members and walked up to Miss Mayawati, Miss Yechury and Leader of Opposition Mr Arun Jaitley to talk for a few minutes. Shortly afterwards, the BSP chief went spoke to the Prime Minister. The House calmed down only after Mr Narayanasamy had announced that the government would table an appropriate Bill on 22 August.
Source : The Statesman