The government just managed to successfully tide over the FDI issue in Parliament, but now it has another task at hand.
An all-party meeting called by Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari today to resolve differences over the promotions quota bill ended without a solution. This comes following an uproar in Rajya Sabha over the contentious bill
that ended in the House being adjourned for the day. The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj
Party (BSP) is pushing for providing quota to the Scheduled Castes (SC) and the Scheduled Tribes (ST) in promotions in government jobs. This legislation is being staunchly
opposed by arch-rival Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party.
At the meeting, the Samajwadi Party sought changes to the bill which the BSP objected to.
"Govt committed to giving reservations in promotions...SP, BSP have issues, we're trying to resolve them," said senior Congress leader V Narayanasamy.
Earlier, members of the Samajwadi Party trooped into the Well in Rajya Sabha shouting slogans against the government's move to bring reservation in promotion for SCs/STs. The government had listed the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill, 2012 for this
purpose in the Upper House today.
The BSP is backing the bill, but the Samajwadi Party is opposed to reservation in promotions for government jobs because it believes that the decision will upset their upper caste votebank. The SP has vowed the stall it.
"Samajwadi Party wants the House to function, but parting of the communities is not right and SP is not in its favour. I am sure results will be in favour of the people," party leader Naresh Agrawal had said.
"We are not bothered about SP and BSP. We have always cared about the well being and progress of Dalits and will reveal out stand in Parliament accordingly," BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
The government will have to walk the political tightrope to smoothen the ruffled feathers in managing the two as both SP and BSP are supporting it from outside and both have played a crucial role in government getting through the FDI on both Houses.
Sources had said that the support in FDI was a political trade-off and that the government could give in to Mayawati's demands on the bill promotions in government jobs.
During the debate and voting in the Rajya Sabha on the FDI issue, Mayawati's 15 BSP MPs voted in favour of FDI, ensuring a victory margin bigger than expected. It had walked out of the Lok Sabha before the House voted. The Opposition BJP had slammed the BSP, with Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj saying, "It is not a question of BJP, this is not a communal issue. But the problem is the issue has now become FDI vs CBI... when the BSP wants support, they come to us and then we aren't communal. This dichotomy won't work."
Mayawati said that remark was ghatiya (cheap) causing BJP benches in the Rajya Sabha to protest angrily. "We are often accused of being under pressure from CBI. This has become fashionable for the Opposition," she said.