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Oppn terms Centre’s quota Bill a Jumla

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 07, 2019 Published on January 07, 2019

The Cabinet had cleared a decision to introduce 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker forward castes PTI   -  PTI

‘The BJP is panicking. It wants to do certain things for fear of losing vote base’

The Opposition has questioned the Centre’s intention in coming up with a Bill to amend the Constitution on the last day of the Winter Session. The Cabinet had cleared a decision to introduce 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker forward castes in jobs and educational institutions.

The Congress, questioning the timing, said the Centre failed to fill 24 lakh vacancies in government and public sector undertakings in the last five years. The party’s media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said the Congress has always supported every step for reservation and extending support to the economically poor sections of the society irrespective of caste, community or creed. The truth is, facing imminent defeat in 2019 elections and with 100 days to for the polls, the Modi government has suddenly woken up to the woes of the economically poor. That itself raises certain questions on the “intent, the bonafides and the honesty of Modi government all together,” Surjewala said.

He said the Centre attacked farmers, traders and small and medium businesses consistently through the demonetisation disaster and a flawed GST. Demonetisation cost the country two crore job . “The unemployment rate is at a high of 7.3 per cent, which is perhaps highest in the last 23-24 months,” he said and added: “Modi has not been able to create even nine lakh jobs. On the contrary, the government has admitted on the floor of the Parliament that 24 lakh government sector jobs are vacant, which Modi has not filled up in four year and eight months. Question is simple, please offer reservation in jobs we welcome it, but, when will you create jobs. By destroying jobs and creating reservation in jobs, whom are you trying to really benefit?” he asked.

Senior Parliamentarian and BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab said it is not fair to take a Constitution Amendment Bill for discussion without even distributing it to members. “We haven’t seen the Bill. There is less than 100 days left for the general elections. The government is in a hurry. We do not know if Constitution provides for reservation for economically weaker sections. He said he will question the Bill at the introduction stage itself.

CPI MP D Raja said the move reflected BJP’s desperation. “How they have defined ‘backwardness’ we don’t know. Already the Supreme Court has put a cap on reservation at 50 per cent. That has not been challenged by the Centre, which means the cap remains. They have to come before Parliament. The BJP is desperate, it is panicking and rattled. It wants to do certain things for fear of losing vote base,” Raja said.

Published on January 07, 2019
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