The government will amend the Constitution, if need be, to provide reservation in job promotions to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

This was announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday at the conclusion of an all-party meeting here, at which most parties called for legally sustainable legislation in the backdrop of the Supreme Court striking down such a measure.

While no time frame was given as to when the constitution amendment Bill would be introduced, it was clear that the government’s proposal to bring it in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday was deferred.

Briefing reporters at the end of the three-hour meeting, V. Narayanasamy, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, said: “Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the government is in favour of bringing an amendment in this regard and would bring an amended Bill soon after legally examining all aspects.” The government would help the States which found it difficult to provide reservation in the wake of the court verdict.

The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal (United) did not oppose the move but said they would like to study the Bill first. Ramgopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party said the Bill, as proposed, would do injustice to the OBCs, adding the party would oppose it if it did not include the OBCs and minorities.

D. Raja of the Communist Party of India said the Left parties supported the government move unconditionally.

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