Govt urges opp parties to get quota bill passed in RS

New Delhi: Against the backdrop of opposition by Samajwadi Party and disruption of proceedings by BJP over coalgate issue, Government on Wednesday appealed to all political parties to get a bill providing for reservation to SCs and STs in promotions in government jobs passed in Rajya Sabha.

Parliamentary Affair Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said he wanted BJP not to disrupt the proceedings today so that the bill can be taken up.

"We have already lost three weeks due to disruptions. I would request them to let Parliament function for last two days so that important issues could be taken up," he said.

Minister of State for personnel V Narayanasamy, who will pilot the Constitution Amendment Bill in the upper house, said the measure is the result of an assurance made by the Prime Minister at an all-party meeting held recently.

"I request Congress and its ally as well as the opposition parties to get the bill passed unanimously," he told reporters outside Parliament house.

The government yesterday cleared a bill providing for reservation to SCs and STs in promotions in government jobs with effect from 1995.

The legislative action, which comes within four months of Supreme Court striking down such a decision by Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh governments, meets the demand of most of the parties, barring the Samajwadi Party.

The Constitution Amendment Bill is being brought to end uncertainties with regard to methodology for deciding the promotion and bring clarity on the issue. .

The previous Uttar Pradesh government headed by Mayawati had provided reservation benefits for SCs, STs in promotions to higher posts in government jobs. The Allahabad High Court has struck down the government decision.

The Supreme Court on April 28 upheld the high court order and termed the state government decision as unconstitutional and done without any sufficient data.

Subsequently, when the current Monsoon session of Parliament began on August 8, several parties vociferously demanded that a bill be brought to circumvent the SC decision.

In view of these demands, the government promised on August 9 that a Bill would be brought in Parliament.

The Cabinet decision was welcomed by BSP, which has been in the forefront in the demand, but Samajwadi Party criticised it and vowed to oppose.