Quota issue: PM calls all-party meeting on May 23

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called an all-party meeting on May 23 to discuss the issue of quota in promotions to government servants belonging to the reserved category with a view to evolve a consensus after the matter evoked a positive response in Parliament.

Sources said the all-party meeting will be held at the Prime Minister`s residence on Wednesday morning to explore possibilities of bringing a legislation to establish a quota in promotions to all government servants from the SC, ST and OBC categories. The issue was discussed in the Rajya Sabha last week. All parties agreed that this provision should be made and asked the government to move a Bill to implement it. Sources said though some sections of the political class are opposed to a quota for promotions, they are not publicly airing these views for fear of losing the votes of the SCs, STs and OBCs.

"Once a person gets a job under the reserved category he or she attains the same level as the general category candidate. They are both equal in terms of status and opportunity……..Providing for a quota in promotion would create bad blood as an officer`s batchmate belonging to the reserved category will soon overtake not just him but even some ranks above. This is not acceptable," a senior MP, preferring anonymity, said. Leaders representing the SCs, STs and OBCs see in this another opportunity to further consolidate their votebank.