Reservation for upper caste poor fine but bill timing is suspect: Congress

Anand Sharma
Image : RS TV

New Delhi, Jan 9: The Congress on Wednesday welcomed the decision to approve 10 per cent reservation for the economically backward sections in the general category but questioned its timing as it comes when the Lok Sabha elections are around the corner.

Congress leader Anand Sharma while speaking in the Rajya Sabha during the debate on the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019 said: “We are not opposing it. But the question is why it is being brought all of a sudden. It is the last session (of Parliament)…then there are elections.”

He questioned why the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) did not bring the bill in its four-and-half years of rule and pointed out that the decision came after the saffron party witnessed a defeat in five states in the recently-held Assembly elections.

“You (BJP) got a message that you were not on the right path. Now, (general) elections are around the corner,” said the Congress leader, adding that the BJP is set to lose the upcoming general elections.

“You are going to get a big message soon. The bill has been brought by a government that is already in the departure lounge.”

Sharma said the Congress supported the concept of reservation with an objective to extend the benefits of education, jobs to the deprived, backwards and weaker sections.

He targetted the Narendra Modi government for not taking all parties into confidence before introducing the constitutional amendment bill in the House.

“The tendency of this government is not to respect Parliament and to bypass legislative scrutiny while making laws or constitutional amendments. I deplore it. It is calculative, deliberate disrespect to the highest institution of democracy,” he said.

Besides this, the Congress leader also took a potshots at the BJP government for its promise of creating two crore new jobs every year.

The number of jobs in public sector undertakings (PSUs) had decreased from 11.85 lakh to 11.31 lakh in 2016-17 and further to 10.88 lakh in 2017-18, he told the house.

Sharma appealed the Centre to bring economy, which got derailed because of demonetisation and implementation of GST — back on track and create job opportunities.

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