Mumbai: Congress general secretary Mallikarjun Kharge Saturday demanded that the Centre amend law to make it mandatory for the states to implement reservation as envisaged under the Constitution.
He said amendment was necessary to “undo” the BJP-led Uttarakhand government’s “mistake” of filling up posts in public services in the state without providing reservation to SCs and STs.
He was addressing a press conference here. “The Uttarakhand government is trying to weaken the case for reservation,” Kharge alleged.
The Supreme Court recently held that states are not bound to provide reservation in appointments and there is no fundamental right to claim quota in promotions. The apex court passed the order while dealing with pleas regarding the Uttarakhand government’s September 5, 2012 decision to fill up all posts in public services in the state without providing reservation to SC/STs.
Expressing dismay over the Supreme Court verdict, Kharge said, “The apex court made certain observations, like reservation is not a fundamental right, which were not required.”
“Reservation is mandated in the Constitution to provide equality of opportunities,” he added.
The Congress leader termed as manuvadi the Uttarakhand government’s argument that there is no fundamental right to claim reservation in appointments and promotions in public posts.
Calling it the “first step” towards ending reservation, he said the Congress will oppose the move. Kharge said the Uttarakhand government pleaded in the court that reservation is not a fundamental right despite constitutional provision and Supreme Court did not give any direction to the government.
“PM Narendra Modi has not commented on this development when he extensively highlighted the reservation for economically weaker sections during the election campaign. The Centre is not filling up vacancies and instead closing down PSUs,” he said.
As far as railways is concerned, the government has privatised 150 routes, he said. “It (Centre) is in the process of closing all the PSUs. It is trying to dismantle whatever Pandit Nehru had started soon after Independence,” he alleged.