PATNA: Days after introducing reservation in jobs outsourced by the Bihar government, state chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday expressed his support for reservations in jobs in the private sector in the country.
Kumar spoke in favour of nationwide reservation in private sector jobs as he justified his controversial November 1 decision to follow the reservation policy in outsourced jobs. But the JD(U) national president stopped short of openly making a demand for it and instead called for a debate on the issue.
“I personally feel the private sector should also come under the reservation policy. But Parliament is yet to make such a law. There should be a debate on this matter. This (reservation) remains a political point in this country,” Kumar said.
Kumar strongly defended his cabinet’s decision for reservation in jobs outsourced by the state government in the face of protests by several leaders of BJP, with which JD(U) allied in July after dumping the grand alliance. Senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member CP Thakur and BJP MLC Sachchidanand Rai are among the outspoken opponents of the cabinet decision.
“Since the salaries for jobs outsourced by the state government to private firms are paid from the public exchequer, such jobs naturally come under the reservation policy of the state government. People voicing protests fail to realise this basic matter, and I have nothing to say about their needless protests,” said Kumar.
While Kumar’s call for reservations in the country’s private sector was welcomed by his ally-turned-arch rival Lalu Prasad Yadav of RJD, it put BJP in a fix. The saffron party’s Bihar unit president Nityanand Rai said his party is ready for a debate on the issue.
“I can only say that we (BJP) have no objection to a debate on the subject,” said Rai. However, there were protests at BJP’s state headquarters by the party’s youth wing workers against Kumar’s call. The protesters shouted slogans against senior BJP leader and deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who was present beside Kumar when the latter expressed his views.