Urges government to find "middle path" on Coalgate

The Bahujan Samaj Party, prime mover behind the constitutional amendment bill for promotion quota for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in government jobs, on Friday sought a special session of Parliament for the passage of the legislation.

The session was a washout, as the BJP remained adamant till the last day on its demand for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s resignation on coal blocks allocation. On the other hand, the Samajwadi Party and the Shiv Sena opposed the bill, which was tabled amid unruly scenes.

Terming the Congress-led UPA government “anti-Dalit,” BSP president and Rajya Sabha member Mayawati blamed the ruling coalition for getting the bill deferred for another 2-3 months. “We have requested the government to call a special session this month to get this bill cleared, but before that the government should ensure that the House functions smoothly,” she told journalists.

The BSP chief favoured a “middle path” on the coal scam. “[The government should] find a middle path on the coal scam so that there is peaceful atmosphere in the House. We had talked about this with the government, but they did not accept our request.”

The government had listed the bill for consideration and passage on Friday but it was not taken up. “For the last two days, their Minister stood up to take up the bill but today [on Friday] he did not even stand up to move for discussion. This shows their anti-Dalit mindset,” she said.

Significantly, the BSP leader directed her ire only at the UPA and the Congress. She made no comment on her arch rival in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party, with whom some of her party members were involved in a scuffle during introduction of the bill. The SP later stalled the Rajya Sabha to prevent the bill from being taken up for consideration and passage.

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