Lok Sabha on Tuesday approved a bill to include certain castes, including Sais, Aheria and Peruvannan, in the list of Scheduled Castes (SC) in states of Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala, Odisha and West Bengal.
Moving the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 Amendment Bill for consideration and passing, Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot said, “BJP since its Jan Sangh days has been favouring reservation for SC/ST and OBC and will remain committed to the objective.”
Misinformation is being spread that RSS is opposed to reservation, he said, adding, “we are not going to change the rules of reservation.”
He further said the modifications in the 1950 Order were being introduced after obtaining the approval of the Registrar General of India and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes.
These changes, he added, were in line with the suggestions made by state governments of Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala, Odisha and West Bengal.
The Bill, the Minister said, “proposes to include certain communities in the list and remove of area restriction in respect of certain communities and exclude certain communities in the case of Odisha.”
Participating in the discussion, several members, cutting across party lines, suggested that government should come up with a Reservation Act to ensure members of the scheduled caste get the benefit at the time of promotion.
The move, the members argued, would end interference of the courts as far as promotions are concerned. They also favoured affirmative action in the private sector and higher judiciary.
Some members said if more castes are being added to the list of SC, then the reservation quota should also be increased from the present level.
They also underlined the need for setting up residential schools in all districts of the country for SC and ST.
Gehlot said the Modi government has decided to open 62 Navodya Vidyalaya in the districts which do not have one at the moment.
K H Muniyappa (Cong) regretted that since Independence the government has not earmarked adequate resources for the development of SC/ST community and demanded that residential school should be set up in all 650 districts of the country.
He further said that the proposal to review the Constitution by Vajpayee government was unfortunate.