Nearly 18 lakh employees of the UP government stayed away from their offices on Friday, protesting against the UPA government’s move to introduce the SC/ST Promotion Bill in the government services. Protesters, mainly from the upper castes and the OBC category, took out an aggressive procession under the banner of Sarvajan Hitaya Sanrakshan Samiti. Essential services like electricity, hospitals and sanitation staff were exempted from the strike.
“The consequences of the new policy would not only be disastrous but also is a deprivation of constitutional rights,“ warned Morcha chief Shailendra Dubey, who has been leading the demonstration on the streets and also in the court against the new Bill.
Meanwhile, the SC/ST employees, who support the Bill, stayed in the offices and threatened to agitate.
”We will work more than 12 hours a day to protect reservation in promotion,“ said an Arakshan Bachao Morcha spokesman.
Akhilesh Yadav’s government has strongly objected the move to introduce the Bill. His party had made it clear that it would oppose the reservation in promotion bid at all the levels. But the Opposition BSP is spearheading the campaign for reservation.
The reservation in promotion policy was introduced by the previous BSP government in the state. After the government changed, the Samajwadi Party revoked the policy and challenged it in the court also. In the meantime, the UPA government promised to introduce the Bill throughout the country and is likely to get it passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday. A bill to this effect has already been tabled in the Parliament.