New Delhi: The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government has decided to fill the 50, 000 vacant posts reserved for Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes and Other Backward Classes.  With the Assembly elections in five states round the corner including Uttar Pradesh, this move is being seen as a bid to upset the vote-bank equation of the BSP.

The Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday cleared a proposal to fill the 50, 000 posts lying vacant with various ministries such as finance, human resources, home, food, defence, railways and urban development.

In November 2008, the UPA-I had decided to fill 76, 137 vacant seats by candidates belonging to SC/ST and OBCs just before the14th general election. But the whole exercise did not derive promising results. Despite conducting special recruitment drive, the Centre had managed to fill only 30 percent of the total vacant seats.

The decision to restart the recruitment drive is an attempt by the Centre to realise Rahul Gandhi’s Mission 2012.
Notably, the Centre has already decided to provide 4.5 percent reservations to the Muslims within the 27 percent OBC quota.

Out of total 403 Assembly seats, Muslims dominate about 130 seats with 18 percent electorates in state.  In addition, the Centre had announced a hefty package to the weavers in UP.

The government move is being seen as an erosion of social fabric of Dalits in Punjab and UP. Mother-son duo of Sonia and Rahul is leaving no stone unturned in enticing the Bahujan Samaj Party’s core vote bank (Dalits). This can be gauged from the fact that Rahul had lunch in Dalit houses during his visit to their villages.

Violation of Model Code of Conduct?

The legal experts have started to ponder over whether the Centre’s decision to fill the vacant posts in the Central government jobs just before the polls amounts to violation of the Model Code of Conduct or not.

Commenting on the controversial issue, senior Supreme Court advocate Mukul Rohatgi said, “The government decision clearly violates the code of conduct of the Election Commission.”

On the contrary, senior advocate Amarendra Saran said, “It has nothing to do with the code of conduct. The Centre can not halt its recruitment process due to the Assembly polls to be held in five states.”

“The recruitment for backlog seats will not be considered as the policy decision of the government. It is a part of the routine business,” he added.

Saran however accepted that such decision may change the voters’ sentiments in favour of a particular party.

JPN/Bureau