Mayawati demands constitution amendment for SC/ST quota
NEW DELHI: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Monday demanded in the Rajya Sabha that the government bring a constitutional amendment bill during the current parliament session to ensure that Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Uttar Pradesh continue to get reservation benefits in promotions.
Mayawati, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister, made the demand in the wake of the Supreme Court on April 27 quashing the state government's decision to provide reservation benefits for SCs and STs in promotions.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha soon after the house met for the day, Mayawati also demanded that reservation for SCs and STs should be placed in the ninth schedule of the constitution so that there is no problem in implementation of quota provisions for the two communities.
The issue was raised in the Lok Sabha by Congress member P.L. Punia after the question hour. He received support from several members in the house from various parties.
Responding to concerns of members, Minister of State in PMO V. Narayanasamy told the Lok Sabha that discussions were being carried out between the ministries of law and justice, and social justice and empowerment and the government will take immediate decision in the matter.
The Supreme Court had last week quashed the Mayawati government's decision to provide reservation benefits for SCs, STs and OBCs in promotions, saying the state failed to furnish sufficient valid data to justify the move.
Mayawati, who spoke for the first time since taking oath as Rajya Sabha member last week, said the central government had amended the constitution in the wake of court decision in Indra Sawhney case in 1992 so that SCs and STs continue to get reservations in jobs and promotions.
Referring to the apex court verdict in M. Nagaraj case in 2006, she said the court had said that before making a law concerning promotions for SCs and STs, the central and state government had to ensure appropriate data on their representation and backwardness and also examine if reservation in promotions was affecting administrative efficiency.
She said the Supreme Court had on April 27 termed reservation in promotion for SCs and STs "unconstitutional" in Uttar Pradesh and had done so earlier in Rajasthan.
Mayawati said SC and ST employees in two states, who had got seniority and promotions on the basis of reservation, will have to go back to their original posts.
"This will have bad and long term consequences," she said.
"The central government should get an appropriate amendment passed in this session to negate the impact of apex court verdict and fulfill the intention of 77th, 81st, 82nd and 85th amendments," Mayawati added.
Demanding that reservation provisions should be placed in the ninth schedule, she said that the central government should first get the issue examined to address any infirmities.
Maywati also demanded a discussion in the house on the issue and said that the central government should clear its stance on the matter.
My final words of advice to you are educate, agitate and organize; have faith in yourself. With justice on our side I do not see how we can lose our battle. The battle to me is a matter of joy. The battle is in the fullest sense spiritual. There is nothing material or social in it. For ours is a battle not for wealth or for power. It is battle for freedom. It is the battle of reclamation of human personality.