Paswan’s party to challenge Bihar reservation formula

Patna, May 31 (PTI)

Union Communication Minister Ramvilas Paswan has threatened that his party would move court if the Bihar government failed to modify its new reservation policy, hiking quota for the Schedule Caste, on the basis of population.

Expressing displeasure over alleged discriminatory attitude of the Rabri Devi ministry in providing reservation to Scheduled Castes, following the creation of a separate Jharkhand state, Mr Paswan told newsmen here last evening that his Lok Janshakti party would be forced to move court if the new formula was not revised.

Elaborating his opposition to the state decision, Paswan said according to the 2001 census the population of Schedule Caste had increased to 20 per cent from 15.40 per cent after division and therefore the reservation be revised.

He favoured to raise the reservation cap from 50 per cent to 65-69 per cent in Bihar, in line with Tamil Nadu to accomodate the minorities and poor belonging to the upper caste.

"Instead of enforcing the reservation formula through a cabinet decision efforts should have been made to pass an act in the state assembly and that should be forwarded to parliament for inclusion in the sixth schedule," he said.

"Such an action will ensure that punitive action is taken for non-implementation of reservation facilities," he added. The minister termed the Rabri Devi ministry as anti-Dalit.

The Congress party, a coalition partner in Rabri Devi government, too has endorsed the opposition demand in demanding convening of an all-party meeting to iron out differences of opinion on the new reservation formula announced by the Bihar government.

BPCC President Shakeel Ahmed while demanding an all-party meeting on the issue supported the demand of some opposition parties for provision of reservation of government jobs to the poor among the upper castes and the minorities. "The reservation formula should not give an impression that any deserving group has been discriminated against," Ahmed said.

The government last Tuesday slashed the reservation for ST in state government jobs from ten to one per cent by approving an ordinance seeking to replace the Reservation Act, 1991, drastically reducing reservation to the ST and enhancing quotas for Scheduled Castes (SC), Extremely Backward Classes (EBC) and Other Backward Classes (OBC).

RJD President Laloo Prasad Yadav had defended the government's decision saying the ST population in Bihar had come down to less than one per cent after creation of Jharkhand.

The state government had raised the SC quota from 14 to 15 per cent, for EBC from 14 to 18 per cent, for OBC from 10 to one per cent and for women among the OBC from two to three per cent.

Paswan however said the new reservation formulation announced by the state government was not violative of the Mandal Commission.

UP POLLS: Paswan expressed confidence that his party will have a total electoral understanding with other NDA allies during the Assembly poll in Uttar Pradesh.

Paswan, however, said he had called his partymen in Uttar Pradesh to New Delhi on June 12 to decide the issue relating to electoral alliance.

His party had strong people's support in Uttar Pradesh, the Lok Janshakti leader said and expressed confidence that it would have total electoral understanding with other NDA allies.

Referring to NDA support base in Uttar Pradesh, Paswan said the victory of Chief Minister Rajnath Singh during the recent by-poll reflected that over 90 per cent of the Scheduled Caste voters had backed him.

The meeting in New Delhi would also decide the party's stand on creation of a separate 'Harit' state out of Uttar Pradesh, Paswan said. He said he had always favoured creation of smaller states for “speedy development.”

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Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: June 2, 2001
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