Accusing the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh of being prejudiced against those from general castes, an organisation representing upper caste employees and officers, along with their supporters, has passed a resolution condemning Chief Minister Kamal Nath for not accepting their demands and failing to grant them time to hear their point of view.
A top office-bearer of the organisation, acronymed SAPAKS, told The Indian Express on Monday that members of the outfit will hold street protests unless the government acts on its demands.
For the last few months, SAPAKS had sought time with Nath to air its grievances, arguing that thousands of general caste employees and officers have retired without promotion, and that many more will retire over the next few years.
The outfit sharpened its attack after Nath and more than half-a-dozen Cabinet ministers attended a regional convention organised by AJAKS, a Hindi acronym for the association of Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) employees and officers, in Bhopal on Sunday. “We have come to power after 15 years. Our main challenge is to create an atmosphere of justice. When we meet the next time you may not need to present this charter of demand,’’ Nath had said at the AJAKS event, referring to the organisation’s 31-demand charter.
SAPAKS president, Hiralal Trivedi, a former IAS officer, told The Indian Express that Nath has neither given time nor accepted demands of employees affected by the policy. He claimed it was possible for the government to promote employees despite the SC order but it is not doing so.
Trivedi said 40,000 employees and officers retired between 2002 and 2016 without promotion while their SC/ST counterparts benefited from it. He said memorandums will be submitted to the Governor and the Chief Secretary against the government’s stand on reservation in promotion, and these will be followed by streets protests after giving the government a month’s time.
J N Kansotia of AJAKS said SAPAKS is free to do what it wants. He said filling up backlog, promotions and representation of SC/ST candidates at top positions are among the major demands AJAKS put forth before the CM. He said Nath has promised them justice.
While AJAKS is a registered organisation, SAPAKS, formed in 2016 to protest against the then BJP government’s stand on reservation in promotion and to wage a legal battle, is not. SAPKAS had come into being after the state government moved the Supreme Court to challenge the Madhya Pradesh High Court order on the policy of reservation in promotion.
Former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan had then said that “no mai ka lal’’ can end reservation as long he was alive, and that his words are etched in stone.