UPA govt pushing quota bill in hurry: Jaswant

Jaswant Singh said UPA government`s move in bringing in the bill to provide reservation in promotion was against constitutional norms.

Bangalore: Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh on Thursday said UPA government`s move in bringing in the bill to provide reservation in promotion to SCs and STs in government jobs in a hurry was against constitutional norms.

Social engineering should be brought about through mutual talks, Singh told reporters here, a day after the constitutional amendment bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha amid chaos and ugly spectacle of two members of BSP and SP coming to near fisticuffs.

"They (Congress) didn`t do it (through mutual talks) and brought it overnight. Hence, this (fracas in the Parliament between SP and BSP MPs) was expected," the former Defence and External Affairs Minister said on the sidelines of a function here.

On Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni`s remarks that she would take up with the External Affairs Ministry the issue of US daily The Washington Post`s scathing criticism of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said, "The PMO should apologise to India, not demand apology from Washington Post Editor and Publisher, for ruining the country."

"We have done this kind of thing earlier and they had apologised. If the Washington Post has written things like this against the Prime Minister, trust me I will oppose it strongly", Soni had said about the article which has raised the hackles of the Congress party.

`The Washington Post` article with the headline `India`s `silent` Prime Minister becomes a tragic figure` said Singh had helped set India on the path to modernity, prosperity and power but critics now say that the shy soft-spoken leader is in danger of "going down in history as a failure".

Asked about anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal`s claim that the CBI had tipped off coal companies before carrying out raids on September 4 in connection with alleged irregularities in coal blocks allocation, Singh said if each and every constitutional institutions of India are not trusted, it would not augur well for the country.

"It is not necessary to give reactions to whatever Arvind Kejriwal says. I don`t know in what context he has made such remarks," he said.


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