The BSP is set to make Supreme Court verdict on reservation in promotions to SC/ST government employees an election issue and expose what it called the "anti-Dalit stance of the ruling BJP".
The Supreme Court on Wednesday paved the way for grant of quota for promotions in the government jobs to SCs and STs, holding that the states were not required to "collect quantifiable data" reflecting the backwardness among these communities.
"The issue has been of utter importance to the party which had been raising it both in and out of Parliament so much so that Constitutional Amendment for the same had to be passed in the Rajya Sabha during the then UPA government and after yesterday's verdict the party will definitely make it an election issue," a party insider said on condition of anonymity.
He claimed that the states and Centre have been given the freedom to either implement it or not and the party is of the belief that most of the state governments will rather prefer not implementing it.
"The BSP will make every effort to ensure that the deprived SCs/STs get their rights," he said.
Party president Mayawati on Wednesday demanded that if the Centre was actually a well-wisher of these sections, it should send a letter to the states and also the departments concerned to take the verdict in a positive manner and implement it.
"At the Centre, and also in most of the states, there are governments which are against this issue and I do not feel the benefits will be extended promptly," she said.
He said Mayawati is expected to issue directives to the BSP leaders in this regard shortly "though there is a clear understanding that it will be a major election issue, especially in the light of yesterday's verdict," he said.
"The BSP will particularly work on apprising its cadres of the BJP government's lackadaisical attitude on the issue, putting it on the backburner for over four years and doing absolutely nothing for getting the Constitutional Amendment bill for the same passed by the Lok Sabha," he said.
"Now that the elections are drawing nearer, the BJP government is taking steps to present itself as a true well-wisher of the Dalits and deprived sections. They are doing it only for their political interest and we have to apprise our cadres about the truth behind it," he said.
"This is a (BJP) attempt to make inroads in the Dalit vote bank and we will foil it".
The BSP president in her reaction to the verdict on Wednesday had hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party, saying it was regrettable that the saffron party took no action to bring in a constitutional amendment to overturn the 2006 judgement, despite being in power for over four years at the Centre.
She had said it would still be better if the Centre gets the amendment passed to resolve the matter for always, as "our party had been demanding since long, both in and outside Parliament".
The BSP, when in government in Uttar Pradesh, had implemented reservation in promotions benefitting hundreds of SC/ST employees who, however, were reverted to their original posts subsequently, when the Samajwadi Party took over reins, following an Allahabad High Court order striking down an earlier government order.
The BSP leader sounded confident that the issue of reservation in promotions would not hamper the ongoing talks between his party and the Samajwadi Party which had taken an entirely divergent stands.
A compromise will be reached on this issue as well like all others and it will not prove a hurdle, he asserted.
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