Supreme Court

SC Verdict On State Quotas Sparks Uproar In Lok Sabha

Supreme Court

The Lok Sabha on Monday witnessed an uproar over the Supreme Court ruling that quotas and reservations in government jobs is not a fundamental right with Congress members accusing the government of attempting to snatch away the rights of SCs and STs and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh stating that the Opposition party was trying to “politicise the issue”.

Raising the issue in the Zero Hour, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the petition was filed by the Uttarakhand government in the apex court.

He said the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes comprise about one-third of the country’s population and the Constitution has given them rights for socio-economic progress.

Chowdhury said the party-led UPA government had taken several steps for the welfare of SCs and STs.

“What has happened, the government is trying to snatch the rights,” he alleged while accusing the BJP government of spreading “manuvaad”.

BJP members strongly objected to his remarks with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi saying that it was the verdict of the Supreme Court and the government has nothing to do with it.

“Whose government was (in Uttarakhand) in 2012. It was of Congress. The government has nothing to with it,” he said.

Chowdhury said that the affidavit was filed on behalf of Uttarakhand government and BJP is in power in the state.

Joshi demanded that allegations against the government by the Congress member should be expunged.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal said the government was committed to providing reservations to SCs and STs.

Rajnath Singh, Deputy Leader of the House said Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawarchand Gehlot will make a statement in the House.

He said there was Congress government in Uttarakhand in 2012. “An attempt is being made by Congress to politicize this sensitive matter. It is a serious issue,” he said.

Speaker Om Birla then adjourned the House till 2 pm.

Earlier, DMK member A Raja alleged that there has been “onslaught on the reservation since this government came”. He said that the government should go for a review petition or the matter should be brought in the Ninth Schedule of Constitution.

Raja and Kalyan Banerjee of Trinamool Congress said that these arguments in the apex court were made by Uttarakhand government which is run by the BJP.

BSP’s Ritesh Pandey also accused the government of being “anti-Dalit”.

Members of Congress and some other parties also came to the well of the House and raised slogans against the government.

LJP’s Chirag Paswan demanded intervention of the central government on the issue. He said that all laws relating to the welfare of SCs and STs should be put in the Ninth Schedule so that “the debate ends” and the practice of going to the apex court from time to time stops.

He said the government was committed to the welfare of the weaker sections and rejected opposition charges that the government was “anti-Dalit”.

JD-U’s Rajiv Ranjan Singh accused the opposition members of trying to politicize the apex court verdict and said the NDA government had always taken measures to protect the rights of weaker sections.

Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal said the central government should intervene and bring an ordinance on the issue.

The matter was earlier sought to be raised by Congress members during question hour. Rajnath Singh said that Gehlot will make a statement on the issue.

The Supreme Court had on Friday said that reservation in promotions for government jobs is not a fundamental right. The top court also said the States cannot be directed to provide promotions to the members of the SC/ST community. (ANI)

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