Quota issue: Oppn parties stage walkout

Quota issue: Oppn parties stage walkout

Agency News

New Delhi, Feb 10 : Protesting against the Supreme Court’s order that reservation in job promotion is not a fundamental right, opposition benches, including the Congress and the DMK, on Monday staged a walkout in the Lok Sabha while the government said it will take appropriate steps after consideration.

Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot said the government was considering the matter. 'Although the government was not party to the matter, it will appropriate steps after due consideration,' he said. The Supreme Court upheld the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act of 2018, which nullified its own controversial March 20, 2018 judgment diluting the stringent provisions of the Dalit protection law. Upholding the Uttarakhand government's September 2012 notification, the apex court said that as the government is not bound to provide reservation in promotions, the High Court should not have declared the state's decision as illegal. In the case, the Centre was not even a party, Mr Tomar said, adding that in 2012, the Congress had been in power in Uttarakhand.

Opposition members protested and wanted to speak but Speaker Om Birla said they cannot speak on the issue after a statement was made by the government. Amid protest, Opposition members staged a walkout. Earlier during the Zero Hour, vociferous protests were witnessed in the House against the issue with the Congress terming the BJP government's action 'Manuvad'. Congress Leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the step of the BJP-led Uttarakhand government showed they are 'Manuvad' and not what they claim 'Rashtravad'. He said the Uttarakhand government has clarified before the Supreme Court that it was not constitutional responsibility of the state government to provide reservation to SCs/STs in promotions.

At this, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the BJP government had no role to play in this case as the petition was filed in 2012 over the decision of the then Uttarakhand government. Back then, the Congress was in power in Uttarakhand, he added. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also denied any involvement of the Centre in the court’s verdict. (UNI)