Opposition targets BJP after SC ruling on quota in public posts

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 10, 2020

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressing the media during the Budget Session, at Parliament House in New Delhi on Monday   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

The Opposition demanded the immediate intervention of the Centre to nullify the Supreme Court order that that there was no fundamental right to claim reservation in appointments or promotions in public posts. Attacking the Uttarakhand government’s position, the Opposition parties said the BJP is trying to scuttle reservations through vicious designs.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said there is a big conspiracy against reservation. “We will not allow reservation to be done away with, no matter how much Modi-ji or Mohan Bhagwat dream of it,” he said.

Talking to reporters outside Parliament, Gandhi said the BJP government in Uttarakhand made a statement in the Supreme Court against the constitutional right of reservation. “These rights were acquired through great struggles and sacrifices, so that India can become a better nation. Today, there is a big conspiracy to take away the rights of the deprived sections one by one. What could be bigger treason than this?” he said. “The RSS and the BJP cannot stand the idea that dalits, tribals and OBCs have reservations,” Gandhi alleged. “They (the RSS and BJP) wake up every morning and this (reservation) irritates them. Except it is in our Constitution, and these rights are guaranteed by our Constitution,” he added.

“Reservation is an important part of the Constitution. The main thing is that there is an assault on the Constitution. All institutions are being destroyed, we are not allowed to speak in Parliament and judiciary is pressured. So institutional structures are being destroyed and the main pillars of our Constitution taken down one by one,” Gandhi said. “We will not allow reservation to be done away with no matter how much Modi-ji or Mohan Bhagwat dream of it,” he said.

The matter was raised by Opposition parties in Rajya Sabha too. CPI(M) MP KK Ragesh moved an adjournment motion for discussing the matter. Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot said the Centre is committed to the welfare of SCs, STs and other backward castes. He assured the members that his ministry will take “appropriate steps” against the order. “There was Congress government in Uttarakhand in 2012. Our government is dedicated and committed for the welfare of SCs, STs and other backward castes. Since it is an important subject, the government is considering it at the highest level,” the minister said.

“There is not need to worry. The Modi government will protect and will do whatever best possible to protect the interest of SCs and STs,” said Food Minister Ramvilas Paswan.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the verdict concerns about one-fourth of the country’s population. “Immediately, a cabinet meeting should be called and take a decision to file a review petition,” Azad said. Satish Chandra Mishra (BSP) and Ramgopal Yadav of SP said reservation in judiciary is a long-pending demand. BJP leader Bhupinder Yadav said the reservation system is safe and that the House should work with unity.

Published on February 10, 2020

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