NEW DELHI: The Opposition led by the Congress on Monday sought to put the government on the mat over the Supreme Court ruling on reservation in government jobs for SCs and STs.
On Friday, the SC had ruled that individuals have no fundamental right to claim reservations in promotions and that states are not legally bound to provide quotas to SCs and STs in government jobs.
Both the Houses of Parliament witnessed pandemonium uproar over the issue with Opposition members asking the Centre to either file a review petition in the Supreme Court immediately or bring a Bill in Parliament to nullify it.
Hitting out at the Centre, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged the government is trying to erase the quota system. In the Rajya Sabha, Opposition members were allowed to seek clarification from Union Minister of Social Justice Thawar Chand Gehlot while many leaders attacked the Centre for not taking a clear stand on such a sensitive matter.
Gehlot said the government was deliberating the verdict “at the highest level”. NDA ally LJP, too, pitched in for the protections of the rights of the SCs & STs. It is a “serious” issue and the entire country is concerned, LJP leader and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said.
Later, during the Budget discussion, Gehlot said the Centre was never made a party to the civil writ petition filed in the Supreme Court.
Not satisfied by Gehlot’s response, the Opposition in Rajya Sabha walked out in protest. “The Centre does not understand the sensitivity of the matter... The Centre should rush and seek review or else bring a Bill to make it null and void,” said Rajya Sabha Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad.
In a tweet, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra alleged the ruling party was weakening the equal rights given to Dalits and tribals by the Constitution.
‘Congress will not allow it’
Asserting that his party will not allow doing away with the quota system, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, “We won’t allow reservation to be done away with, no matter how much Modi Ji or Mohan Bhagwat dream of it”