New Delhi: Voicing its opposition to the bill for quota in promotions for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, the Samajwadi Party (SP) on Monday asked the central government to send the bill to a standing committee of the Parliament. It played the Muslim card by demanding reservation for them.

Participating in the debate on the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill, 2012, that seeks to provide reservation in government jobs for the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and the Scheduled Tribes (STs), Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal said the bill will increase social friction."Send the bill to a standing committee. So many bills go to standing committee, why not this?" Agarwal asked.

The Rajya Sabha is set to vote later on Monday evening on the sensitive bill which will provide for reservation in promotion to the SCs and the STs.

"This legislation will have a long lasting effect on society. After so many years of independence, we are still caught in class struggle, please rethink it. It will result in a long lasting social friction," he said.

The SP leader warned of a large scale agitation outside parliament if the bill was passed, and said majority of people were against the bill.

"Thousands will march on roads. This bill may be one dividing generations," Agarwal said.

"Eighty percent people are against it. Several members have come to me and said they are against the bill but a whip has been issued and they are tied," he said.

The SP member then suggested if the government wanted to go ahead with the bill - like foreign direct investment (FDI) - they could leave the final decision to the states.

"States have the right to autonomy. Why should the centre dictate terms to us?" he said.

Going on to the attack the mode, he asked why was the government  not thinking of reservation for Muslims."Why don't you rethink on Sachar Committee report? Aren't the Muslim poor?"

Agarwal said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley should go and see the situation of the  Muslims in villages. With all major parties, including the BJP and Left in its favour, the bill is expected to get through without much problem.

(Agencies)

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