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Parliament disrupted for 10th day, promotions quota bill likely Wednesday

Tuesday September 04, 2012 10:49:31 PM, IANS

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Cabinet nod for job promotion quotas; BJP, SP, BSP spar

The cabinet Tuesday approved a constitutional amendment bill to provide reservations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in government job promotions. It immediately created a political divide with the BJP 

New Delhi: The raging BJP protest over the coal blocks allocation disrupted parliament for the 10th straight day Tuesday, despite which the government got a bill each passed in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

With just three working days left for the monsoon session of parliament to end on Sep 7, there is no indication or effort by both the government and the opposition to restore normalcy in the two houses so that the pending legislative work could be completed.

But not to be cowed down by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) protest demanding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation, the government is planning to introduce a bill in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday to amend the constitution to provide quotas in government promotions for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

If the government brings the quota bill in parliament, it may put the BJP, which has not let parliament function, in a spot, as it has openly declared support for the draft law.

The BJP leaders met at senior leader L.K. Advani's house to work a strategy if the government introduces the bill.

Meanwhile, continuing protests by the BJP in both houses forced the respective presiding officers to adjourn them for the day without much business, but not before quickly ensuring the passage of a bill in each house.

In the Rajya Sabha, which met after repeated adjournments at 4 p.m., the house passed The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Amendment) Bill, 2012, within a few minutes.

Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien ensured that the bill was passed and then adjourned the house for the day.

Earlier, at 2 p.m. when Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had tried to introduce the bill, the BJP had drowned out his speech in loud protests, forcing Kurien to adjourn the house for two hours. The bill has already been passed by the Lok Sabha.

In the Lok Sabha, just ahead of its adjournment for the day after noon, Congress MP P.C. Chacko, who was in the chair, got the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Bangalore, Bill 2012 passed amid din caused by the BJP benches.

Earlier in the day, the cabinet met under Manmohan Singh and cleared the constitution amendment bill for promotion quotas, which requires two-thirds majority among the MPs present and voting in both houses of parliament to be passed.

Soon after, a political race began among parties, with the BJP providing conditional support to the move, the Bahujan Samaj Party welcoming it and Samajwadi Party opposing it.

"We will bring a constitutional amendment bill to provide reservations to the SC/ST in job promotions in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. We are determined to pass it... we appeal to all parties to help pass it," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told reporters.

If passed by the Rajya Sabha, the bill will be brought in the Lok Sabha Thursday, he said.

Bansal said the government has requested the BJP to help it pass the bill.

The decision on reservations had been taken at an all party meeting chaired by Manmohan Singh on Aug 21.

The BSP had raised the issue in parliament after the Supreme Court in April overruled the Uttar Pradesh government's decision to provide reservations in government job promotions. The BSP, which had provided the reservation when it was in the government, then demanded a constitutional amendment to provide for such quotas.

BSP chief Mayawati appealed to the BJP, which has stalled parliament for 10 days, to let the houses function so that the bill could be passed.

BJP's Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told IANS: "We are supporting the bill. But some members have some reservations. We will discuss it and suggest some amendments."

Samajwadi Party's Ram Gopal Yadav, however, said it would not allow the bill to be passed, and its fate will be similar to the women's quota bill that is pending in the Lok Sabha since March 2010 after Rajya Sabha had passed it earlier.

The government said it was committed to getting the bill passed.

"It was a decision taken in an all-party meeting. It is every one's view," Law Minister Salman Khurshid said.


 






 


 



 

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