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PM's Opening Remarks at all party meeting on reservation on promotion.

New Delhi, Aug 21, 2012,

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, will chair an all-party meeting here on Aug 21, 2012 to discuss reservation in job promotions for those belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.  

The Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has sought suggestions of political parties so that a legally sustainable solution may be arrived at regarding reservation in promotions for SC and ST. Addressing

an All Party meeting on Reservation in promotions in New Delhi last evening, Dr Singh said the meeting was called to discuss the issue of reservation in promotion specifically in respect of the decision of the Supreme Court in April wherein the Court has struck down provision of reservation in promotion to SCs and STs in Uttar Pradesh.                

                 After repeated adjournments in Rajya Sabha and turmoil in Lok Sabha, the government had earlier this month agreed to the members demand for bringing a Constitution Amendment Bill for reservation in promotion of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in state jobs. The amendment to the bill on providing quota to SC-STs in promotions is unlikely to be presented during this session of Parliament, as an all-party meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 21st August 2012 failed to arrive at a consensus. Although most of the parties favored legal backing for quota in promotions, the UPA’s key ally Samajwadi Party asked the government to stick to the entry-level job quotas.

         The Prime Minister said that the government has always been committed to protect the interests of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and on certain occasions did not hesitate even to bring constitutional amendments. He reminded the leaders that earlier four Constitutional amendments were made by his government to protect the interests of the backward classes including Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. However, he assured the parties that his government would bring in a “legally sustainable” amendment to ensure quota in promotion, but didn’t give any time-frame for bringing the amendment in Parliament. The meeting was convened in the backdrop of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Uttar Pradesh’s decision to provide quota for SCs, STs and OBCs in government jobs.  The quota for the other backward castes also remained unresolved as the government told the meeting that it would be dealt separately. 

Sources said SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s objections were in the expected lines as his party depends on OBC votes along with support from minorities. The BJP leadership asked the government to ensure that it was not struck down by the Supreme Court. Trinamool Congress, the second biggest party in the UPA reportedly spoke about ‘judicial activism’ before asking the centre to quickly bring the amendment.


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