Dec 172012

Govt steers clear of SP`s demand on proportionate reservation for Muslims New Delhi: The government on Monday steered clear of SP’s demand for proportionate reservation to Muslims but expressed the hope that its decision to provide 4.5 per cent quota to minorities will see the light of the day despite Andhra Pradesh High Courts’ rejection.

“What can I say if their party says something. A demand can be made for anything…The promise of Congress made in its election manifesto (to provide reservation to backward Muslims) is our first priority….We never talked about proportonate reservation. We never made any such promise,” Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan told reporters here.

Govt steers clear of SP`s demand on proportionate reservation for Muslims

He was responding to questions on Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav’s demand in Rajya Sabha that Muslims should be given reservation in proportion to their population through an amendment in the Constitution.

Khan said that he wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month drawing his attention towards the apprehensions among the minorities over terror cases and urging him to ensure speedier trial of the cases.

Govt steers clear of SP`s demand on proportionate reservation for Muslims

Regarding apprehensions raised by minority groups about some of the provisions of the Centre’s Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Khan said that he has brought the concerns of the minorities regarding this to the notice of ministries concerned and was hopeful that they will take steps to address them.

Khan said that he is “hopeful” that the government will be able to convince the Supreme Court on the merits of its decision to carve out a 4.5 per cent sub quota for minorities out of the OBC reservation quota of 27 per cent.

The Andhra Pradesh High Court had rejected the Centre’s decision on the sub quota while the Supreme Court also made observations against it.

Govt steers clear of SP`s demand on proportionate reservation for Muslims However, Khan said, “We are not doing anything except taking all the minorities, who are already getting benefits under Mandal Commission and putting them together. It’s grouping them. It is scientific way of giving it.”

Khan said that similar kind of reservation model is working in Karnataka and, hence, “There cannot be different yardsticks for Karnataka and the rest of the country.”

He said that even the Andhra Pradesh High Court had “not said that quota is illegal” and that the government’s decision on the sub quota is “scientific” but there may be some “lapse in presentation” and that will be set right.

“I am hopeful because I think we will be able to address the Supreme Court’s doubts. We will be able to provide them the data (related to backwardness) as they demanded,” he said.

Regarding new initiatives being taken by his Ministry, Khan said that he is planning to set up separate consultative bodies within his Ministry to look after each of the five notified religious minority communities as the requirements of each minority community is different and needed to be approached differently.

He said that the government has completed the formalities to bring the new Wakf Amendment Bill before Parliament after incorporating the recommendations of the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha and it will be brought soon.

He, at the same time, added that it was not possible to bring it in this session now with just few days left for it to conclude.

The Minister said he is hopeful that he will also be able to introduce the long-pending Equal Opportunity Bill in the next session as well as complete the process of having diversity index and setting up of national data bank, three major recommendations of the Sachar Committee that went into backwardness of Muslims.

He acknowleged that monitoring of the schemes is a “big challenge” and that the states do not hold the meetings of the monitoring committees to track the performance of the implementation of the schemes meant for minorities.

Khan said that the proposed restructuring of the National Minority Development Corporation will widen its ambit to enmpower it for direct lending and creating two more subsidiaries within it while the Maulana Azad Educational Foundation (MAEF) will now have greater involvement in expansion of education among the minorities.


Dec 162012

Rajya Sabha, on Monday, will vote on the controversial Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill 2012 that seeks to provide reservation in government jobs for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

While the Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP) has been pressing the government to pass the bill, the Samajwadi Party(SP) has issued veiled threats saying it could reconsider its outside support to the ruling United Progressive Alliance(UPA) if the bill is passed.

SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had said in Lucknow on Saturday, “If voting is done on the bill in the house, I will reconsider my party’s support to the government.”

BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters, “The SP and BSP are hand-in-glove with the Congress. On several occasions, the two have jumped in to save the UPA government. The threat by Mulayam Singh Yadav is mere political posturing.”

Parliament has been disrupted frequestly over the issue since the winter session started on Nov 22.

Dec 122012

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday called up the Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari to convey his distress and concern over BSP supremo Mayawati’s acerbic remarks against him  in Rajya Sabha.

Trying to extract her price in return for support on FDI, Mayawati had stepped up pressure for passage of the quota bill for SCs and STs when she sharply criticised Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari and attacked the government after which the House was adjourned.

She stunned the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) when she criticised Ansari, who is also the country’s Vice President over conduct of the House.

Upset over the fact that lack of order prevented passage of the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill that provides for reservation for SCs/STs in government job promotions, she rushed to the House during the Question Hour and criticised the Chairman without notice.

A visibly stunned Chairman tried to pacify her telling her that the House can function smoothly only with the cooperation of all sections.

But she continued to make some remarks against the Chairman, which were expunged in the evening, hours later.

Government is in a bind with BSP pressing hard for the passage of the quota bill and the Samajwadi Party vehemently opposing it.

The BSP supremo’s outburst came on a day when both Houses were again unable to conduct any significant business due to disruptions.

In the evening, Ansari convened a meeting of the Rules Committee to discuss the issue of either reschdeduling the Question Hour or totally disband it in view of the frequent disruption of the Hour by parties agitating on some issue or the other.

Ansari’s remarks were made in the presence of Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath, Leader of the Opposition in RS Arun Jaitley and several other opposition leaders soon after the Upper House was adjourned for the day.

This prompted Kamal Nath to have separate consultations with Mayawati in the lobby of the House.

Soon after, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called up Ansari and conveyed his distress and concern over the developments in the Rajya Sabha.

Rajya Sabha could not function because of uproar over the quota Bill providing for reservation to SCs/STs in government job promotions while Lok Sabha was paralysed by BSP members by demanding details about coal block allocations which have been shrouded by allegations of irregularities.

Ansari told the BSP chief that it was the responsibility of everyone to ensure smooth functioning of the House.

“You are a senior leader…the House is run with the cooperation with everyone. The House is running right now. You please allow the House to run,” he told Mayawati.

As she did not relent and her party colleagues shouted slogans against the government like ‘dalit virodhi ye sarkar nahi chalegi’ (anti-dalit government is not acceptable).

Ansari then adjourned the House till noon. Similar scenes later forced one more adjournment and finally for the day.

Rules do not not permit a member to question the Chair on any issue, more so on his presence or absence.

Later, Mayawati told reporters outside Parliament that her critical remarks in Rajya Sabha was the “first step” of her tough stance that she is going to adopt as she accused government of not seeming to be serious about passage of the bill.

“I had said two days ago that BSP would adopt a ‘tough’ stand. It is the responsibility of the government and the Rajya Sabha Chairman to bring the House in order… Today’s (criticism) was our first tough stand in Rajya Sabha. We will take our next stand at an appropriate time,” she said.

Dec 122012

Mulayam disapproves Mayawati`s attack on RS Chairman New Delhi: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday disapproved of BSP supremo Mayawati’s attack on Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari, saying the Chair should not be insulted.

Yadav put the onus of proper functioning of Parliament on the government while accusing it of shirking its responsibility.

“The Chair should not be subjected to insult…Whether it is Rajya Sabha or Lok Sabha, there should be no comment against the respect of the Chair,” he told reporters here.

Yadav, who is a member of Lok Sabha, said this when asked to comment on Mayawati’s criticism of Ansari over disorder in Rajya Sabha.

Mulayam disapproves Mayawati`s attack on RS Chairman

Mayawati’s outburst came over repeated disruptions in Rajya Sabha where she wants early consideration of Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill that provides for reservation to SCs/STs in government job promotions.

Samajwadi Party is strongly opposing the bill, arguing that it will divide the society.

With regard to Parliament not being able to function properly for several days, the SP chief said, “This is not the task of the Chair but the government. The government is shirking (its responsibility).”

Yadav, whose party’s support is crucial for the UPA, said the government should listen to others or hold talks with parties.

“If there is an issue concerning the public, poor people or farmers, the government should listen…If the government does not listen, the opposition will have to speak,” he said.

Mulayam disapproves Mayawati`s attack on RS Chairman

Yadav was evasive when asked whether Mayawati’s issue of quota for SCs and STs in government job promotions was related to poor people and farmers.

On reports that force, include marshals, may be used in Parliament against SP members who are stalling consideration of the Bill, Yadav expressed confidence that no such thing would happen.


For Zee News’s Updates, follow us on Twitter , Facebook, Google+, Pinterest

First Published: Wednesday, December 12, 2012, 23:38

Dec 122012

PM calls Hamid Ansari after Mayawati`s outburst New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reportedly called Hamid Ansari to convey distress over Mayawati’s attack on him in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

BSP chief Mayawati on Wednesday shocked the Rajya Sabha by telling Chairman Hamid Ansari that he is “not seen” in the House in the afternoon after

“You are not seen here after 12 PM… What kind of House is this? You have to take decision that what has to be done for this (ensuring the functioning of the House),” the BSP chief said.

She was protesting against the frequent disruption over a bill for providing reservation in promotion to SC/STs in government jobs, an issue that has seen the party at loggerheads with the Samajwadi Party, its arch detractor in UP politics.

PM calls Hamid Ansari after Mayawati`s outburst

The protest by the BSP on the quota issue saw the House being adjourned twice before lunch.

Mayawati’s remarks left the House stunned. The Chairman told her that she was a senior leader and should allow the House to function. He said it was the responsibility of everyone to let the House function.

But, BSP members were unrelenting.

Mayawati’s outburst came at 11.30 am when textile minister Anand Sharma was replying to a query on the plight of weavers in Uttar Pradesh.

PM calls Hamid Ansari after Mayawati`s outburst

The BSP supremo, along with her party colleagues, came into House and started speaking even before taking her seat.

As the Chairman tried to pacify Mayawati and asked her to allow the Question Hour to proceed, the BSP chief went into the Well with her party members continuing with her verbal attack.

Mayawati’s remarks came on a day when the Chairman has called a meeting of the Rules Committee of the Rajya Sabha anguished over frequent disruptions of the Question Hour.

Mayawati said, “The Chairman leaves at 12 noon and thereafter the Deputy Chairman sits on the Chair and thereafter there is drama. This drama is repeated every day,” suggesting action like use of marshals against members disrupting the House or suspending them to ensure that the House functions normally.

“There is a limit to tolerate things,” she said while justifying the “tough” stand taken by her party in the Rajya Sabha earlier in the day.

Proceedings in Parliament touched a new low today with Mayawati stunning Rajya Sabha by her outbursts against the Chairman over its frequent disruptions.

She said the House turns disorderly after the Chairman leaves, adding since the House is not in order the SC/ST Bill is not being taken up.

Mayawati’s party colleagues started shouting ‘dalit virodhi ye sarkar nahi chalegi’ (anti-dalit government is not acceptable).

A visibly upset Ansari adjourned the House till noon.

When the House reassembled, BSP members again trooped into the Well shouting anti-government slogans.

On Monday, Mayawati had threatened to take a “tough stand” in case the government does not help bring order in the Rajya Sabha and get the bill passed.

Amid the uproar, BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu took strong objection to reports on Government’s plans to increase the cap on subsidised LPG.

As the din continued, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien adjourned the House for another 30 minutes till 12.30 PM. However, there was no improvement in the situation when the House met again and minutes after it was adjourned for the day.