Ramgopal, Shah spar in RS, Oppn questions job creation

Ramgopal, Shah spar in RS, Oppn questions job creation

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah speaks in the Rajya Sabha during Winter Session of Parliament in New Delhi on Wednesday. (RSTV grab via PTI)

Senior Samajwadi Party MP Ramgopal Yadav and BJP chief Amit Shah on Wednesday sparred during the debate on Constitution Amendment Bill over the impact of reservation on sections that were out of quota-ambit.

Yadav said that the provision for 10% quota for economically weaker sections would eat into the opportunities of meritorious people in the general list.

He said that already the quota for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) runs into 49.5%.

As Yadav pointed to the BJP benches, Shah interrupted his speech and asked whether the quota brought for Muslims by the Samajwadi Party government did not impact the meritorious people.

Later, Yadav said that his intention while referring to the BJP benches about its move on the new quota was not to insult them but was made out of respect.

"It was not an adverse comment," he said.

During his speech, Yadav said that the real aim of the BJP was not to economically empower the weaker sections but the "aim was 2019 elections".

Like several other speakers, he also expressed concern whether the move would be nullified by the Supreme Court later as in an earlier judgement it had said that reservation should not cross 50% mark.

Echoing the Congress' Anand Sharma who opened the Opposition innings in the debate, he questioned that the government how it plans to provide relief when jobs are not there.

"When there is no jobs, what is the point in talking about reservations," he asked.

Sharma said, "you brought the bill in haste because you had to before the Model Code of Conduct comes into force, thinking... Lets dangle a carrot in front of the public, show them another dream that Modiji made arrangements for their childrens' employment."

Opposition's questions on job creation found echo in BJP ally Shiv Sena's Anil Desai who criticised the government on job creation.

He asked, “what step the government is doing to alleviate unemployment? It shouldn’t be that the bill remains just on paper. Government should address the doubts about the bill.”

Trinamool Congress' Derek O'Brien said, "coming soon is a coalition government which will have a common minimum programme. Right now, we have a government which has a confused maximum programme."

Congress' Kapil Sibal said that the BJP might have thought the bill will brighten up their face and “elevate your otherwise saddened situation. But the country can only be happy, if the people of the country are happy. But, right now the country is crying out for jobs.”

Opposing the Bill, DMK's Kanimozhi said that economic status can not be a criteria for reservation. “When you are an OBC, Dalit, you will still face discrimination. You may not be economically weak, but your caste will never leave you.”

“We oppose this bill as this bill is anti-Dalit and anti-poor and we have no qualms in saying this,” RJD MP Manoj Kumar Jha said.