Congress leader Janardan Dwivedi's suggestion on ending caste-based reservation and go for quota on economic criteria created an uproar in Parliament today with the government clarifying that it was not considering any such proposal.
"Government is not considering any proposal to provide reservation based on economic criteria. The reservation as it stands today will continue as per constitutional provision," Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said in the Rajya Sabha.
If an office bearer has made any such statement, it is his personal view, Shukla said after the issue created trouble in the House with SP and BSP members stormed the Well protesting against the statement of Dwivedi, Congress General Secretary.
BSP members shouted slogans "anti-poor government, down down" in the Well. Members of JD(U) were on their feet on the issue.
When protesting members sought reply from the government, Shukla informed the House that Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Mallikarjun Kharge would be apprised of the matter to make a statement on the issue later.
SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav said the Centre had taken into account the demands of his party as well as the state governments with regard to bringing 17 castes that are OBCs under scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST) category.
K C Tyagi (JD-U) observed that "Congress party is doing away with the reservation system. There is conspiracy."
He sought continuation of the existing reservation system without any change.
Dwivedi, who is a member of the Upper House, was present when Shukla made the clarification.
The issue also was raised in the Lok Sabha with BSP members storming the Well but what they were saying was not heard in the din over the issue of Telangana. ( Outside the House, BSP chief Mayawati said, "A senior Congress leader has given a statement on reservation, this can't be an individual's opinion, but the party's stand. We strongly condemn it."
At a time when quota is the buzz word in politics, Dwivedi has called for an end to reservation on caste lines and urged Rahul Gandhi to introduce quota for financially weaker sections bringing all communities under its ambit.
"This (reservation on caste lines) should have come to an end. Why it did not happen so far was because vested interests got into the process," Dwivedi had said.
Advocating the continuation of the current system, Yadav said, "If a person is millionaire but if he belongs to SC or OBC, he cannot get respect in the society which a very poor people from upper caste gets. So this is the difference and whatever the present system is, it should continue."
Akali Dal and BJP have also questioned on the timing of the statement of Dwivedi.