Quota in promotions: Mayawati threatens tough stand

Days after she bailed out the UPA government in the Rajya Sabha on FDI in multi-brand retail, BSP supremo Mayawati on Monday issued a veiled ultimatum of "tough stand" against the government for failing to honour its commitment of Constitutional amendment to provide for SC/ST reservation in promotion in government jobs.

"I want to tell the UPA government that running the House is their responsibility. Now, it is the government's duty to run the House properly and get this Bill debated and passed. We will see for two-three days. We will see the government's stand on the issue. What they do and what the Chairman of Rajya Sabha says. Then, we will take a tough stand. The SC/ST Bill is a very serious issue for us," she told reporters after SP members disrupted the RS, protesting against the Bill.

The SP suggested that it will also go to any extent, even if it meant suspension of its members from the House, to stall the Bill. "We will disrupt the House and not allow it to function if the Bill is passed...We will continue to oppose the Bill and we are ready for suspension," SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav said on Monday.

RS Chairman Hamid Ansari made a failed attempt to break the logjam by holding a meeting of the Leader of Opposition in the RS Arun Jaitley, BSP MP S C Misra and SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav.

During the meeting, Jaitley was learnt to have highlighted legal deficiencies in the current version of the Bill and suggested modifications. Sources revealed that Misra indicated flexibility on part of the BSP to examine Jaitley's suggestions. However, sources confided, Ram Gopal remained unimpressed by the suggestions and indicated his party's strong objections to the Bill.

In Lucknow, assuring his support for reservation for Muslims, Mulayam said that the move to provide for reservation in promotions was calculated to create ill-will in society. He termed the reservation in promotion Bill as against social justice. "It will lead to animosity and disparity in society. It is a ploy to create divisions within the society. That is why the SP is opposing the Bill," Mulayam added. Addressing workers and representatives of various Muslim organisations at the SP headquarters in Lucknow, he said, "The SP raised the issue of Muslim reservation in jobs. Till Muslims get reservation, our struggle will continue."

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