SC order against quotas in promotions rocks Parliament

The issue of reservation in promotions in government jobs in Uttar Pradesh saw an uproar in both Houses of Parliament Thursday.

New Delhi: The issue of reservation in promotions in government jobs in Uttar Pradesh saw an uproar in both Houses of Parliament Thursday with the Rajya Sabha being adjourned for nearly an hour and the Lok Sabha witnessing disruptions.

The Supreme Court order in April, overruling the Uttar Pradesh government`s decision to provide reservations in government job promotions to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, led to MPs vociferously voicing their opinion in both houses.

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned after MPs of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which was then in government in Uttar Pradesh, raised the issue. The upper house lost the important question hour for the second day of the monsoon session over the issue after the chair adjourned the house soon after the day`s proceedings began.

The BSP had raised the Supreme Court order issue in the budget session too, demanding a constitutional amendment to provide for such quotas.

On Thursday, BSP leader Mayawati raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha as soon as it met for the day, blaming the government for not taking action as promised.

Minister of State in Prime Minister`s Office V Narayanasamy promised that a meeting would be called in the current session, but BSP members refused to be pacified and trooped towards chairman Hamid Ansari`s podium.

Ansari then adjourned the house till noon.

In the Lok Sabha, members from the BSP, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress raised the issue soon after the house met and did not let question hour be taken up.

Members wanted Speaker Meira Kumar to allow an impromptu discussion.

With the speaker relenting to their demand, the matter was raised by SP`s Shailendra Kumar, who appealed to the government to uphold the interests of the downtrodden and to come up with a constitutional amendment to provide for such reservations.

He was supported by Congress` P.L. Punia.

Responding to the members` concern, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal admitted that a meeting the government was to have on the matter could not take place over the last one-and-half months due to various reasons.

But he assured that the government would respond appropriately to the issue soon.

"The matter is important and the government is pro-active in according the rightful place for Dalits in the country. The government`s response to the Supreme Court order must be considered," he added.

Following the assurance, members let the question hour proceed without disruptions.