New Delhi: Opposition members in Rajya Sabha on Friday attacked the government for not checking divisive forces and expressed concern over issues like intolerance, the status of backward sections and weakening federalism.
Participating in the debate on commitment to the Constitution, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (AITC) said there was need to introspect how much the spirit of the Constitution has been implemented in matters relating to equality, justice and liberty.
Introspection was required at a time when the country's President was talking about maintaining tolerance and intellectuals returning awards in protest against growing intolerance in the country, he said.
"Are we serving the country based on the Constitution. We are encouraging divisive forces. This is pathetic situation," the TMC member said.
Expressing concern over the status of scheduled castes and tribes, JD(U) President Sharad Yadav said the situation was such that even MPs of these parties find it difficult to voice their opinion because of pressures of the party system.
Yadav said the country cannot progress if all sections do not progress and added that even within various political parties, "dalits cannot find their voice".
He said at the time of formulation of the constitutional system, there had been a demand that dalits should get a separate electorate but that did not happen.
Dalits and tribals were not finding adequate place in higher position in government jobs, Yadav said, adding there had only been one dalit secretary and there was hardly a chance that one would become a Cabinet secretary.
To this, union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi stood up and said though he was not opposing Yadav, but as per details there had been around four secretaries in the present government.
A Navneethakrishnan (AIADMK) said it is fitting that November 26 has been declared as Constitution Day and spoke of various provisions for disadvantaged groups.
He also spoke about the importance of federalism, while expressing concern on the matter relating to the proposed GST Bill and sought more weightage for states in decision making under GST. Navneethakrishnan also spoke in favour of allowing Tamil language in courts in his state.