Karnataka

PM should call all-party meeting on SC order on reservation: Siddaramaiah

Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah on Monday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi immediately convene an all-party meeting to discuss the recent Supreme Court order on a petition pertaining to reservation in promotion in Uttarakhand.

In the order, the apex court stated that the issue was a State subject. Mr Siddaramaiah said the case should be referred to a Constitution Bench as this was a constitutional matter. “The Union government should appeal against the order of the two-judge Bench of the Supreme Court that stated reservation was not a fundamental right,” he said.

Alleging that the BJP had “conspired” to dilute reservation provided to the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and OBC communities, he said, “The judgment is against the basic principles of the Constitution and social justice. The Centre should intervene immediately to protect the interests of the socially and economically backward sections of the country.”

“Article 16(4) and (4A) of the constitution is clear about reservation. This judgment is misleading the country. The provisions of the Constitution should not be manipulated. How else can we set right inequality?” he asked.

He said that such a verdict, at a time when BJP and RSS leaders were already speaking against reservation and about changing the Constitution, would only help the Centre and other BJP-ruled States to misuse it. “The recent judgment will have nationwide ramifications and will be implemented in Uttar Pradesh too,” he said.

Asserting that the Congress was committed to social justice, Mr. Siddaramaiah said his party would come out on to the streets to oppose this.

‘No fiscal discipline’

Justifying his remark that a “daridra (bankrupt) government” was ruling the State, Mr. Siddaramaiah alleged that the government has been unable to maintain fiscal discipline.

“What I meant was this government has no money. They have not paid salaries for the last three months to teachers, not released the ₹2 crore grants to MLAs and MLCs. The flood-affected people are still waiting for monetary relief from the government. If this is not a bankrupt government, what else can you call it? There was no such bankruptcy during our tenure, and not once did we hold up payments,” he said.

“Despite having 25 MPs from the State, not once have Karnataka BJP leaders, including the Chief Minister, demanded that the Centre release additional funds for flood relief. Furthermore, the Centre has released a mere ₹1 crore for suburban rail,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Mangaluru, State Planning Board deputy chairman B.J. Puttaswamy said the government had become “daridra“ because of the erratic rule and policies of the Siddaramaiah government.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 5:23:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/pm-should-call-all-party-meeting-on-sc-order-on-reservation-siddaramaiah/article30786368.ece

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