Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Tuesday accused the UPA-II government of using the passage of the proposed bill to provide a jobs promotion quota for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) as a diversionary move. She said that the government is wanting to divert attention from Coalgate.
"Ever since August 21, we had been continuously pursuing them over the matter, and today after lots of hardships this has been cleared in the cabinet. But sad part here is that though they have accepted this in the cabinet, there will be divisions and voting over it," said Mayawati,.
" Now, presently the condition of Parliament is such regarding the coal scam that I don't think that they would be able to pass this bill in this session. So, I don't think there would be any effort by the Central Government in this regard," she added.
The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister also appealed to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to clear the bill during the current session.
"Through the media, I would appeal and request to the NDA, and especially the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and their allies that though they have kept forth their demands for the coal scam which has stalled the house, I still request them. This issue has been discussed in the house, an all party meet has been held, we don't want any more discussion on it, but there should be straightway voting on it," said Mayawati.
"So, I would request to the BJP and their allies that even for an hour, half an hour and for than an hour, within this session before the house ends, they should help pass this bill," she added.
Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party (SP) has objected to the Union Cabinet's decision.
"We regard this stand by the cabinet as wrong. The cabinet's stand counters all forms of justice and beliefs. It is against the principle of natural justice. It should not happen, and the Samajwadi Party shall oppose it," said Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav.
A group of lawmakers from various parties belonging to the backward classes staged a protest outside the Parliament building here earlier in the day to push for the passage of the proposed bill.
Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan said they would launch a nationwide agitation if the bill was stalled in parliament.
"Reservation is our constitutional right and also a birthright. We will not sit quite regarding the issue of reservation in promotion. The SC/ST forum has taken its decision. If this bill is not brought in the parliament in this session, then we shall call a conference of all SC/ST lawmakers from all over the country and launch a nationwide agitation for the cause," said Paswan.
"We demand that the Indian Government, within the remaining days of the parliament session, should bring in the reservation in promotion bill for SCs and STs, and pass it as well," he added.
The proposed Bill to provide a reserved jobs quota for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), seeks to amend at least four articles of the Constitution to enable the government to provide a quota in promotions to SC/STs.
It seeks to remove the term inadequate representation, mentioned in Article 16(4) to justify reservation in promotion and appointments, and also delink the term efficiency of administration from the claims of SCs/STs for jobs and promotions, mentioned in Article 335.
Changes are also likely to be made in articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution, following the advice of the government's top law officer, Attorney General, G.E. Vahanvati, on the issue. (ANI)