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Friday, January 22, 2021

Chirag Paswan: ‘Reservation should be put under Ninth Schedule’

LJP leader Chirag Paswan on the Supreme Court’s order on reservation and his arguments against it.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | February 11, 2020 2:38:38 am
Chirag Paswan, supreme court reservation, sc/st quota system, scheduled cast scheduled tribe reservation, supreme court on quota system LJP leader and MP Chirag Paswan in Parliament on Monday. (Express photo by Anil Sharma)

You spoke in the House about the Supreme Court’s order on reservation. What was your demand?

We have strong objections to what the court said on reservation. See, reservation is not a mercy or a favour, it is a right. Such observations will hurt the sentiments of the people belonging to SCs/ STs and OBCs. But my faith lies in the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi… When there was an attempt to dilute SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the government acted proactively.

What did you demand?

I demanded that the government take necessary action…There has to be a review petition. Also, all laws related to SC/STs should be put in Ninth Schedule. Also, we should have an Indian judicial service in place because such things happen because there is no representation of SC/STs in the higher judiciary.

But the Opposition said the Uttarakhand government contented that reservation in promotion is not a fundamental right?

The government is clarifying. I believe the Prime Minister will see to it that it is restored to the way it was.

The RSS chief was quoted as saying that the policy needs to be reviewed and this government was accused of delaying the review petition when SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was amended

… This government is committed to ensure that reservation stands and we as an ally also stand for reservation. Till the time we are part of this government, nothing can happen to reservation.

What are the steps you suggested to avoid such issues on reservation policy?

For ending such controversies, reservation should be put under Ninth Schedule of the Constitution. We have seen someone or the other approaching the court against reservation, from Mandal Commission days till this day. There have been review petitions, constitutional amendments…it has been going on for long. So we want all issues related to reservation for SCs and STs to be put under the Ninth Schedule.

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