Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha today demanded the Centre to set up a commission to revisit reservation as whether or not the cap of 50 per cent reservation for SC, ST and OBC could be increased.
Speaking at a function on reservation, Sinha, who served as Union minister in the NDA government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet, said reservation is an “unfinished agenda” even after 67 years of coming of the Constitution.
Sinha said though implementation of reservation for SC, ST and OBCs have brought changes in the society but, a lot needs to be done and for this, the central government should set up a new Commission to study their present status.
The commission needs to look into various aspects such as- what is the present status of people belonging to SC, ST and OBC categories vis-a-vis reservation, what are the problems and how these problems will be dealt in days to come,the issue of reservation in promotion, scholarships, social uplift of these communities which is of utmost importance, he said.
“The Commission should give its recommendations on above mentioned issues including increasing the cap of 50 per cent of quota fixed by the Supreme Court if needed”, Sinha said.
Sinha was speaking as chief guest at a programme titled ‘the present status of deprived sections of society with regard to economic, social and employment’ in Patna.
The programme was organised by former Bihar Assembly Speaker and JD(U) leader Uday Narayan Choudhary’s non-political organisation “Vanchit Varg Morcha” here.
It has come in the background of Choudhary making critical remarks on JD(U), BJP coalition government in Bihar under Nitish Kumar implementing reservation in the outsourced jobs.
“As we know the population of deprived sections of society is much more than 50 per cent, then what is the point in having a cap of 50 per cent of reservation for them. Why can’t the quantum of reservation be fixed at 45 per cent or 60 per cent. What is the logic behind sticking to 50 per cent… The issue (of 50 per cent cap) needs a review,” Sinha said.
Later when reporters asked him on the sidelines of the programme if he favoured reservation as per the population of the deprived sections (SC, ST and OBCs), he said “I am not saying the cap be increased. What all I am trying to say is that if Commission thinks 50 per cent cap is inadequate and recommends increasing the limit, then it should be raised.”
In reply to another query as whether he was in favour of review of reservation policy afresh, Sinha unequivocally said that “I am not at all talking about the review of reservation. I am for a new commission to further strengthen the principles of existing reservation (policy).”
When host Uday Narayan Choudhary requested Sinha to deliver speech from his chair, Sinha utilised it to take a swipe at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying that he was not like the FM who has read out his budget speech while sitting.
“I have delivered all my seven budget speech in standing position whereas the current Finance Minister has delivered his budget speech sitting in his chair. So I will deliver my speech from the podium today also,” Sinha said.
Recalling valour of Veer Kuer Singh, he said this is the state where people in their 80’s took swords to fight against Britishers.
Invoking Kuer Singh appeared Sinha’s attempt to return barb on Jaitley who in reply to his snide remarks of messing up economy recently had caustically referred him as “a job applicant at 80.”