Coal issue, Quota Bill rock Parliament
New Delhi: Uproar over coal block allocation issue and SC/ST Quota Bill for reservations in job promotion paralysed proceedings of Parliament on Thursday leading to the adjournments of both the Houses for the day.
As soon as the Parliament met for the day, BJP members were on their feet in both Houses and raised slogans demanding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation over the coal block allocation issue. The Coalgate logjam entered its 12th day on Thursday which has drowned most of the Monsoon Session which ends on Friday.
- 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
|COAL BLOCK ALLOCATION ISSUE
- India's official auditor Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had revealed that the lack of transparency in the allocation of coal blocks to private players resulted in a loss of a whopping Rs.1.85 lakh crore (USD 37 billion) to the exchequer during the period 2004-2009
- The Monsoon session is heading towards a complete washout as the Parliament logjam over the coal issue has entered 12th day on September 6. The Monsoon Session will end on September 7
- BJP has demanded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s resignation as he was holding the coal portfolio for the period
- BJP has also demanded cancellation of all 142 coal blocks allocated to private firms since 2006 and insisted that these be auctioned
- Government has rejected the demand for PM’s resignation and pressed the Opposition for debate
Speaking to media outside the Parliament, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “BJP would allow debate on quota reservation bill only after government’s action on coal block allocation scam.”
Lok Sabha was first adjourned till noon and then for the day after Opposition triggered ruckus on the issue. Members of the DMK, AIADMK, CPI and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) were in the Well raising the Sri Lanka issue. The Upper House was first adjourned till 12 noon and then till 2pm following ruckus over coal issue and quota bill.
Uproarious scenes were witnessed in the Rajya Sabha soon after it reassembled at 2pm with SP members rushing to the Well against reservation in promotion for SC/ST employees in government jobs and the BJP members were on their feet on the coal issue. As protests continued, the House was adjourned for the day.
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