BENGALURU: Karnataka legislators on Thursday expressed worry that the Union government’s plans to disinvest and privatise nationalised assets would eventually kill the purpose of reservation - social justice.
Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah pointed out that nationalised assets - PSUs, government enterprises, holdings, businesses worth more than Rs 1.5 lakh crore were being disinvested and would affect people seeking employment in them under reservation.
“The government of India should introduce reservation in the private sector too, especially when even government utilities and undertakings are being given to corporates. If not, this trend will kill reservation and with it, the concept of social justice,” Siddaramaiah said.
Siddaramaiah’s statement came during N Mahesh’s debate on the budget. Mahesh, the lone BSP MLA in the Karnataka assembly, said that the clamour for reservation from all communities would force a situation where the unequal will be compelled to compete with equals.
“Reservation is not a poverty alleviation program but is a matter of representation,” Mahesh said while referring to the Union government’s decision to give 10% reservation for economically weaker sections within forward class communities. Mahesh worried that privatisation of national assets will affect reservation in jobs for Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Classes.
Congress MLA HK Patil too said that over 4 lakh government jobs in Karnataka were lying vacant and close to 80% of these vacant jobs should have been filled up with Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Classes candidates under reservation. “Where is social justice when the government refuses to give jobs that are lying vacant to Dalits, STs and backward classes candidates who are eligible? Instead, the government is passing orders to outsource that work to private firms,” Patil said.