In an uproar in the Parliament on Monday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has accused the Congress and opposition of politicising the issue over the Supreme Court judgement on quotas and reservations of SC/ST during promotions in government services. "An attempt is being made by Congress to politicise this sensitive matter. It is a serious issue," he said.
During the zero hour in Parliament, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the petition was filed by the Uttarakhand government in the apex court. He said that the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes comprise about one-third of the country's population and the Constitution has given them rights for socio-economic progress. Chowdhury further said that the party-led UPA government had taken several steps for the welfare of SCs and STs. "What has happened, the government is trying to snatch the rights," he alleged while accusing the BJP government of spreading "manuvaad".
However, BJP has defended itself with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi saying that it was the verdict of the Supreme Court and the government has nothing to do with it.
Earlier, DMK member A Raja alleged that there has been "onslaught on the reservation since this government came". He said that the government should go for a review petition or the matter should be brought in the Ninth Schedule of Constitution. Kalyan Banerjee of Trinamool Congress said that these arguments in the apex court were made by Uttarakhand government which is run by the BJP. BSP's Ritesh Pandey also accused the government of being "anti-Dalit".
The uproar in the Parliament and onslaught on BJP was regarding a key judgment by the Supreme Court on quotas and job reservations on Friday which said that claiming 'reservation in promotions is not a fundamental right' and it can't order a state government to provide the reservation for people belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) in government jobs.
"The state governments are not bound to make a reservation and even the courts can't issue a mandamus directing States to provide reservation," said the bench of Supreme Court comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta.
The Supreme Court further said, "As per the law laid down by this Court, there is no doubt that the State Government is not bound to make reservations. There is no fundamental right which inheres in an individual to claim reservation in promotions. No mandamus can be issued by the Court directing the State Government to provide reservations."
(With ANI inputs)