New Delhi: UPA ally Samajwadi Party on Monday voiced strong objections in the Rajya Sabha to remarks made by Union Minister Salman Khurshid in Lucknow on backward Muslims reservation and demanded a clarification from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Raising a point of order, Naresh Agrawal (SP) said, "The Chair in both Houses of Parliament has observed umpteen times that ministers should not make policy announcements outside, when the session is on. Minister of External Affairs had yesterday announced outside the House that Government was going to give four per cent reservation to Muslims on Andhra Pradesh model and is going to amend the Constitution.
"This is a policy matter but it was not mentioned either in the President`s address or in the speech of the Leader of the House but the minister announced it outside. Then what is the use of these speeches," he said.
Agarwal also wanted to know whether the government has any plan for it or the minister has made this announcement "merely for cheap popularity".
"Prime Minister should come in the House and tell whether the government has taken any decision or the minister is making the statement merely for cheap popularity," he said.
Reports had it that Khurshid said in Lucknow on Sunday that Congress was not opposed to the idea of reservation of backward Muslims but those jittery about letting the party get credit for implementing it were creating hurdles.
Citing parliamentary rules, Agrawal said it clearly explains how such policy matters are to be placed before Parliament and how the government can announce it.