Quota Bill an attempt to divert attention: BJP
By Express News Service - NEW DELHI
06th September 2012 09:21 AM
The BJP would have sought amendments to the SC/ST promotion quota bill in the Rajya Sabha had it been taken up for discussion in the House on Wednesday.
Even though the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA Government had in 2001 piloted a similar Bill, leading to a Supreme Court judgment on reservations in promotions in 2006, this time around the BJP was firm that “it will not support a Bill with Constitutional flaws and which is likely to be struck down by the Supreme Court”.
The party had made its stand clear at an all-party meet convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on August 21.
On Wednesday, BJP Deputy Leader in the Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad said the UPA Government had introduced the bill “in a tearing hurry”, primarily to divert attention from coal scam, “but the Bill would not pass judicial scrutiny”.
The 2006 Supreme Court verdict in M Nagaraj&Others vs Union of India had outlined certain conditions “within which reservations in promotions would be permissible”.
“The ceiling of 50 per cent, the concept of creamy layer and the compelling reasons namely backwardness, inadequacy of representation and overall administrative efficiency are all Constitutional requirements without which the structure of equality of opportunity in Article 16 will collapse,” the Supreme Court judgment had observed.
The BJP, meanwhile, continued with its protests in the House over discrepancies in coal block allocations and charged the Congress with using the promotion
quota Bill as a “diversionary tactic” when the “nation’s attention was focused on coalgate”.
“The Bill has been brought in a very suspicious manner. Not once was it discussed in the Business Advisory Committee. Yesterday (Tuesday), when the CBI raids were on in connection with coal scam, the Union Cabinet suddenly decided to have a meeting and introduce the Bill. Why this tearing hurry?” Prasad wondered.
“This is a tactic to divert attention from coal scam. The government wants the attention to be diverted from corruption to caste politics,” he said.
The BJP leader also blamed BSP chief Mayawati for “supporting the government in its defence of corruption”.
“We seriously doubt Mayawati’s intention to fight corruption. The government is using the BSP as a shield.... We will urge the BSP chief to join the BJP’s war against corruption,” Prasad said.
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