On a day that the UPA government introduced the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill,2012,in the Rajya Sabha to provide quota for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in promotions,ally DMK came out in support of the Samajwadi Partys demand for extending the reservation to OBCs as well.
In a statement issued on Wednesday,DMK president M Karunanidhi stated that SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav had not opposed the move to provide reservation for SCs,STs,but had only insisted that the quota should be available to OBCs as well.
This is a stand acceptable to us as well, he said,adding that DMK leader T R Baalu had made the partys position clear at a meeting of parliamentary party leaders.
However,at the all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month,the DMK had given its in-principle approval to the Bill. Karunanidhis latest position is likely to complicate the governments efforts to push it through. The SP is likely to use this to stall the Bill.
Meanwhile,Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said today that they would try to get the Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha tomorrow. We do want to pass the Bill. We issued a whip to our members. We will try for the passage of the Bill again tomorrow. We are listing it again, he said.
While Karunanidhi has not clarified whether he would object to the Bill in its current form,the ruling Congress will have to take him on board before it proceeds any further. The government will have the option to refer the Bill to the standing committee.
In New Delhi,the SP welcomed Karunanidhis support. We thank him for making it public just in time. When it is providing reservation in promotions for SCs and STs,the government should not leave out OBCs and minorities, SP general secretary and Rajya Sabha member Mohan Singh said.
The very fact that they have left the OBCs and minorities from the ambit of the constitutional amendment while hurrying it for SCs and STs suggests the Congress is using this Bill as an escape route in the current logjam, Singh added.