Special Correspondent

Allies, Left support Government decision

  • Increased strength to await apex court decision on OBCs
  • DMK, PMK wanted lists to be kept on hold till May 8

    NEW DELHI: All constituents of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the supporting Left parties on Thursday agreed to the Government's proposal to allow admissions in Central educational institutions, including the Indian Institutes of Management and the Indian Institutes of Technology, as per the 2006-07 intake for the coming academic year.

    The proposed increase in capacity has been put on hold, pending the final verdict of the Supreme Court on reservation for the Other Backward Classes. The UPA Government secured support for this decision at a meeting convened by Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Arjun Singh here.

    He met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to communicate the decision.

    In the last academic session, 1,24,377 students were admitted to all Central institutions of higher education, where OBC reservation was sought to be introduced from 2007-08. A formal communication to the institutions withdrawing the April 5 directive asking them to put their admission lists on hold in the wake of the stay on OBC reservation is likely to be sent early on Friday.

    Though the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Pattali Makkal Katchi were of the view that admission lists should be kept on hold till May 8 when the case comes up for final hearing the Government convinced them that further uncertainty over the issue would only precipitate matters and increase resistance to reservation.

    The HRD Minister told the two parties that nothing should be done to antagonise the section already against reservation, and the issue should not be reduced to a fight between the groups for and against reservation. Also, it was feared that delaying the admission lists could go against the Government's case in court.

    While inclusion of the creamy layer remained a non-negotiable issue for most of the allies and the Left parties, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was of the view that the supremacy of the legislature in enacting laws should be asserted in case the court stay on OBC reservation was not vacated. The meeting was attended by Law Minister H.R. Bhardwaj, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel, Communications Minister Dayanidhi Maran, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, CPI (M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury, CPI national secretary D. Raja, Francis George of the Kerala Congress (J), Ram Chandra Paswan (LJP), Debabrata Biswas (AIFB) and Abani Roy (RSP).

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