RS roster system: SP, BSP, RJD to up ante

RS roster system: SP, BSP, RJD to up ante

PTI file photo.

Seeking to soothe the anger among its core constituency, the Samajwadi Party (SP), BSP and RJD will intensify its protest against the roster system for filling of teachers' vacancies in universities in the Parliament in coming days.

One of the casualties of this could be the debate on the Motion of Thanks to President's speech in Rajya Sabha where the motion mover BJP's Bhupender Yadav could speak for just 2-3 minutes in the past two days.

The SP has already given a notice for suspending the business of the Upper House on Friday to discuss the issue demanding that a legislation be brought to ensure that Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Castes (OBCs) are not discriminated under the new system, a demand the ruling BJP has rejected so far.

The Opposition sources said the motion is unlikely to be taken up tomorrow(Friday) as it is the day for private members' business, leaving just three days next week for discussing this as well as the Budget. A suggestion to start the debate on Friday morning has so far been rejected by the Opposition.

For SP, RJD and BSP, sources said its core constituency Dalits and OBCs have not taken well the parties' support to the Bill providing 10% quota for economically weaker sections among upper castes that was passed last month. This has forced them to raise the decibel levels on the roster system to send a political message.

On its part, Opposition sources said, the BJP is not enthusiastic about bringing a law to ensure that the lower castes are not affected in the appointments. This is seen as a bid to sent a signal to upper castes, who are angry with the BJP for bringing an amendment to make the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act stronger to nullify a Supreme Court order.

At a meeting of Rajya Sabha floor leaders at the chamber of Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday, sources said senior Congress MP P Chidambaram suggested that Javadekar could once again speak on the issue assuring that the government would file a review petition as well as look at bringing a bill.

Though Javadekar spoke for the second time on the issue in two days, he stopped short of assuring that it would bring a Bill to ensure that it would revert to the old system.

This angered the Opposition parties as they felt that the review petition would take time and the universities would continue filling posts. Also, they are arguing that the Supreme Court had earlier rejected a petition which challenged Allahabad High Court order on the issue.

Of the 67 minutes Rajya Sabha functioned for the past six days since the Budget session convened, Yadav could speak only for 2-3 minutes on the motion he moved to thank the President for his address to the joint sitting of Parliament.

While first two days in Rajya Sabha were devoted to customary tabling of the President's Speech and Budget copy, no meaningful business could be conducted in the past four days. While the CBI issue was the cause of disruption on the first two days of this week, the protest over roster system did not allow business in the past two days.

The episode has also brought the chinks in Opposition ranks with Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad suggesting in Rajya Sabha that they should move forward by taking up business. To this, BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra retorted saying he was not aware whether the Congress and BJP have reached any agreement about running the House.