New UP panel on reservation

R B Singh

Lucknow, June 28: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Rajnath Singh has announced the constitution of a Committee for Social Justice.

It has been set up to suggest necessary amendments in the reservation policy to pass on benefits to the most backward among Other Backward Castes (OBCs) and Dalits, among SCs/STs, so far neglected.

Rajnath Singh said SCs/STs and OBCs benefitted from reservation but certain groups and castes in these categories remained deprived too. The state government has resolved, he said, to help pass on benefits to the neglected castes in accordance with constitutional provisions. He said the Constitution ensures equal opportunity to each member of society and defined special provisions for the weaker sections.

The Opposition, however, described the move as one aimed to divide the Dalits and backwards with an eye on the election. Yet, no party came out openly against the move.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) said it favoured reservation according to the population. At the coordination committee meeting held at the Chief Ministerís home last night, all allied parties supported the move.

The committee will have as its chairman State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Hukum Singh and Health Minister Ramapati Shastri as co-chairman. The Lucknow-based committee will have five members and J.P. Vishwakarma as secretary. It will submit its report by August 15.

The terms of reference include examination of all arrangements and facilities in schemes for SCs\STs and Backward classes, to recommend necessary amendments in accordance with ST population and various sections.

The Backward classes account for 52 per cent of the stateís total population. Of the 78 such classes in the state, 71 have been listed as Most Backward Castes (MBCs), including Pals, Kahars, Kewats, Baris, Nais, Malis, Lohars and Lomas.

If the reservation is given on the basis of population, then MBCs or BCs would get 23 per cent in the existing 27 per cent. The so called creamy layer would get only 4 per cent reservation. Around six to seven BCs, whose population is just 14 per cent, usually corner 80 per cent of government jobs.

In Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, reservation is on the basis of population. In these states, the BCs have been divided into four categories. Though UP has already studied their reservation arrangements, it plans to divide SCs/STs and Backward cstes in two ó Backward and Most Backward, and Dalits and Most Dalits.

Rajnath all set to split BCs

Lucknow, June 28: In a move that could have far reaching consequences in the coming Assembly elections, UP Chief Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday announced his governmentís intention to implement reservation within reservation for the most backward castes in the State.

Singhís move is bound to put his political rivals, particularly Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, in an uncomfortable situation since this could lead to a division within Backward Castes and make a dent in their respective vote banks. Both, SP and BSP had been making a conscious effort to win over the most Backward Castes and add to their existing electoral strength.

The Chief Ministerís decision has also delivered a stunning blow to the backward leaders within the BJP, particularly senior Ministers like Om Prakash Singh, who had been baying for the Chief Ministerís blood in the past few months by repeatedly talking of the social engineering formula that had gone bust in UP with an upper caste chief minister and an upper caste party chief. The backward leadership within the BJP will no longer be able to beat the Chief Minister with their social engineering stick.

Rajnath Singh told reporters he had set up a Social Justice Committee, headed by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Hukum Singh to make recommendations on the issue. The committee, which will have Health Minister Ramapati Shastri as a co-chairman, will submit its report within two months and on the basis of the report, the UP government will declare reservation within reservation for the most BCs.

Rajnath stamp on MBC quota demand

Pioneer News Service/Lucknow

Adopting the social engineering formula, Chief Minister Rajnath Singh set up a cabinet sub-committee for social justice to fix a quota for the Most Backward Classes (MBC) within the 27 per cent reservation for the Other Backward Classes and to review the quota for the Dalits in order to ensure that its benefits reach them.

The committee will submit its report to the Government in two months by August 31 and will be implemented immediately. The Chief Minister hoped the report would be submitted even earlier, may be by August 15.

The move has come as a blow to the Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party, which are once again trying to play backward politics with an eye on the coming Vidhan Sabha elections.

Talking to newspersons here on Thursday, Mr Singh said there was much resentment since the Most Backward and Extremely Backward Classes within the OBCs were not getting the benefits of reservation.

Hitting out at his political opponents he said: "Those who propagate the cause of social harmony have failed to ensure that the benefits of reservation reach to all castes." He hoped that this decision would not be politicised since he had promised to fulfill his slogan of "Insaaf and insaniyat" ever since he assumed the office.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Hukum Singh will be the chairman of the committee while Health Minister Ramapati Shastri will be its co-chairman and JP Vishwakarma, Commissioner Mirzapur division, will be its secretary. The committee will have five other members.

The five-point terms of reference of the committee include review of all the programmes, facilities and welfare schemes for the SCs, STs and backwards; review and study of the ST population and changes therein following the creation of Uttaranchal; the situation of employment among the SCs, STs and backwards as per the quota; and recommendations for possible improvements keeping an eye on social justice and the quota.

The Chief Minister explained that the Karpoori Thakur Commission recommendations had already been implemented in Bihar. In Uttar Pradesh several commissions, such as the Chhedi Lal Saathi Commission, have given their recommendations.

In reply to a question on the Opposition parties, he remarked, "All I can say is let them remain peaceful. Om Shanti is the message to them."

Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party have described the Chief Minister's announcement as nothing more than an election stunt. Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav said the move was aimed at dividing the backward community.

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Referred by: Mukandan CM
Published on: June 29, 2001
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