Senior leaders of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), an NDA ally, met BJP chief Amit Shah in New Delhi on Sunday and pushed for an ordinance on SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, and reservation in promotions in government jobs. During the meeting, Union Minister and LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan and party’s central parliamentary board chairperson Chirag Paswan also reiterated the demand for special status for Bihar.
The current political scenario of Bihar was also discussed during the meeting. The upcoming meeting of Bihar NDA constituents, including BJP, LJP, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) and JDU, in Patna on June 7, also came up during the meeting.
The LJP chief demanded that the Centre should issue an ordinance at the earliest to counter the Supreme Court’s March 20 order that bars immediate arrest of individuals accused of discrimination under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
As far as special status to Bihar is concerned, we have been demanding for it. Bihar is a backward state so the status must be granted to it. Govt must listen to our pleas: Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on meeting with Amit Shah pic.twitter.com/CU4w9JljRy
— ANI (@ANI) June 3, 2018
Speaking to The Indian Express, Chirag Paswan said that the Centre has filed the review petition in the matter, but the Supreme Court is closed for summer vacations. Hence, an ordinance should be issued to maintain SC/ST (prevention of atrocities) Act in its original form.
Paswan said an ordinance has also been demanded to formulate an Act for reservations in promotions. “The BJP president gave a positive response on both issues,” Paswan said.
On the issue of special status to Bihar, Shah told the leaders that it needs to be discussed with the Prime Minister because a few other states were also making a similar demand.
In March, TDP withdrew support from the NDA government over grant of special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
The BJP chief also spoke to the Bihar leaders about the upcoming meeting of Bihar NDA partners on June 7. The meeting holds significance as it will be first time these parties will meet after Nitish Kumar-led JDU joined the NDA last year. Preparations for the next 2019 Lok Sabha elections are likely to be discussed at the meeting.