The Congress, CPM, and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) on Sunday said they disagreed with the Supreme Court verdict that held that reservations in government jobs and promotions were not a fundamental right.
Veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge demanded that the Union government either file a review petition in the Supreme Court or amend the Constitution to make reservations a fundamental right.
"At least now the Government of India should wake up. They can either take up this matter and amend the Constitution related to Article 16(4)(b) or (c) after consulting the law department or file a review petition, asking that a constitutional bench should hear the case," Kharge said at a press conference at the Congress office in New Delhi.
The apex court said this while dealing with pleas on the Uttarakhand government's 5 September, 2012, decision to fill up all posts in public services in the state without providing reservations to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
The Congress leader claimed that a constitutional matter should not have been heard by a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court, but the full constitutional bench. "It is a constitutional matter and only two people have given a judgment, which will have an impact from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and Calcutta to Ahmedabad," the former union minister said.
Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of trying to 'finish' the Constitution, Kharge said that saffron party was going "step by step". "I know their (BJP's) agenda. They want to finish the Constitution, finish reservations in promotions, so they are going step by step. But they cannot do it immediately because people are awakened now," he said.
Congress general secretary Mukul Wasnik said the party believes reservations are a fundamental right and does not agree with the apex court's decision.
"We respectfully say that we do not agree with this decision... the rights of Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes are not secured under the BJP government," Wasnik said. "The Congress party believes that the appointment of SC/ST people to government posts should not be at the discretion of governments, but it is the fundamental right conferred by the Constitution," he said.
Congress spokesperson Udit Raj, who was also present at the press conference, said the matter shows the contradiction between the BJP-led government at the Centre and in the state, as the Centre in a similar case had pushed for reservations in promotions. Taking on the saffron party, the Dalit leader said, "The BJP is basically against Dalits and reservations."
In a statement released on the party's website, the CPM said that reservations are mandatory constitutional provisions, universally applicable across the country. Calling the interpretation of the Constitution as "anti-dalit, anti-tribal and anti-OBCs", the party urged the Central government to rectify the lacunae.
The Centre must do this through legislative resolutions in both houses of parliament and set right this lacuna in the Constitution forthwith. All possible legal measures to seek a review of such an interpretation must be explored. #NoDilutionOfReservations https://t.co/WepIOoigCr
— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) February 9, 2020
BJP ally LJP asked the Union government to take measures to ensure that reservations for the SC/ST community continued as usual.
LJP president Chirag Paswan tweeted to express his party's disagreement with the Supreme Court decision.
Lok Janshakti Party does not agree with such findings of court.
LJP demands Govt. Of India to restore reservation as provided under the constitution of India.
— Chirag Paswan (@ichiragpaswan) February 9, 2020
LJP founder and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan indicated he may raise the issue in a meeting with MPs from the SC/ST community Monday. "I have invited the SC/ST members of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha for a get together at my residence on 10 February," he said.
With inputs from PTI
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
Updated Date: Feb 09, 2020 22:47:59 IST