New Delhi: After having a week-long fiery Parliament session over the FDI issue, the Rajya Sabha is all set to witness yet another tide over quota in promotions for SC/STs on Monday.

Even if the UPA government has managed to register a comfortable win in the Upper House over the FDI in multi-brand retail, getting the amendment bill for reservation of SC/STs in promotions in government jobs passed in the Rajya Sabha will not be an easy task.

While in the FDI issue, the two crucial outside allies of the government, BSP and SP, had directly or indirectly helped government in defeating the Opposition’s motion in both the Houses, the case is totally different this time.

Both the arch rivals, Mayawati’s BSP and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s SP, are holding diametrically opposite views on the quota bill, with the former
pushing for the bill and the latter opposed to it.

What is SC/ST quota bill for reservation in promotion?
  • Union Cabinet cleared SC/ST quota bill for promotion in state jobs on September 4, 2012
  • Bill seeks to amend at least four Articles of the Constitution to provide quota in promotions to SC/STs
  • Previous UP government led by Mayawati had provided reservation benefits for SCs, STs in promotions to higher posts in government jobs
  • The Supreme Court on April 28, 2012 quashed previous UP government’s move, terming it as unconstitutional and done without any sufficient data
  • Subsequently, at the onset of Monsoon session of Parliament 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
  • Scuffle between SP member Naresh Agarwal and BSP member Avatar Singh Karimpuri in Rajya Sabha over tabling of the bill in house

The SP has vowed to stall the bill as they believe it will upset their upper caste votebank, sources said.

As per the sources, Mayawati has voted in favour of the government over the FDI in Rajya Sabha in an attempt to build passage to the quota bill in the House.

While the SP and Shiv Sena have already registered their reservations on the bill in the all-party meet, the BJP has batted for a debate in the House.

Government trying to convince SP

The government would try and convince the Samajwadi Party (SP) to come on board for the bill on reservations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in job promotions, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said.

"The Reservation bill is on the first list in the Rajya Sabha. We will try to convince the SP," Kamal Nath told media persons.

He said the bill was "current business" as it had been tabled in the upper house in the last session.

"It came in the last session in the Rajya Sabha. The debate was started so it's current business, nothing new," he said.

The SP is, however, determined to continue with its protest on the bill and not let it get passed.

"We will oppose it and ask the government to remove disputed issues from the list of business to let the house function," SP leader Naresh Agarwal told reporters.

"This is dividing society. The general, the backwards, all other classes will be affected with this reservation. How can you benefit one by taking away rights of others," he said.

The BJP has said it is in favour of reservation in general but not really made its stand clear.

"All classes of society, whether it is SC, backward classes, or minorities, should come in the mainstream," BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.

He added: "Let us see what the government bill is like, after that we will decide our stand."

The Rajya Sabha has seen several adjournments this session over differences on the bill.


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