Constitution to be amended for SC/ST promotion quota
Govt to seek political consensus
The UPA government will table in Parliament on August 22 a constitutional amendment bill to ensure reservation in promotions for SCs/STs in government jobs. An all-party meeting will be held a day earlier to discuss the bill.
Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, V Narayanswamy announced the government’s decision on Thursday, following adjournments in both Houses as members cutting across political parties demanded the reservation.
A demand for amending the constitution has come in the wake of the Allahabad High Court judgment that scrapped Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to implement quota in promotions. The High Court judgment was subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court.
Sources in the government said SC/ST employes in both Central and state governments will benefit if the bill is passed. The applicability of the reservation to all categories of government jobs will be decided after consultation with the political parties.
“The government will ready the bill and bring it before the Cabinet soon,” they added.
The issue triggered an uproar in Rajya Sabha on Thursday, as several parties joined the Mayawati-led BSP to demand the reservation, stalling proceedings in both Houses.
During the break, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was seen engaged in a discussion with Mayawati and the dissenting MPs. In the Rajya Sabha, Mayawati and D Raja (CPI) claimed that a meeting promised by the government to discuss a quota in reservation for SC/ST persons, in the previous session of Parliament never took place.
In the Lok Sabha, BSP MPs trooped to the well to demand the reservation.
Even before Thursday’s session commenced, the SC/ST MPs’ Forum staged a dharna in front of the Ambedkar statue in the Parliament House premises, demanding early passage of the bill.
In 2007, the erstwhile BSP government in UP had decided to reserve promotion to the SC/ST employees in top government posts. Ever since, the BSP has stuck to the demand, urging the Centre to intervene and introduce a bill to nullify the apex court judgment.