New Delhi, Dec 20: A war of words broke out today between BSP chief Mayawati and the government as the bill for job promotion quota for SCs and STs could not be passed in Lok Sabha during the Winter Session.
Slamming UPA for not making adequate efforts to have the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill passed, Mayawati said she always doubted the Centre's sincerity on the issue and virtually put the government on notice.
“We will write to the Prime Minister for a special session. We will give them one or two more chances. We will raise the issue again in the Budget Session,” said Mayawati, whose BSP with 36 members in both the Houses of Parliament had bailed out the government on the FDI issue. The Winter Session ended today.
BSP and arch-rival SP provide crucial outside support to UPA, which does not enjoy a majority in Rajya Sabha.
“This is a bill not of BSP or Mayawatiji. This is the bill of Congress party. Let us be very clear on it. It is the bill of the government and the current government is the Congress government,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said.
Mayawati said the government should have made efforts to have SP members suspended from the House after one of them snatched the bill from Minister for Personnel and Public Grievances V Narayanasamy.
“The whole country has seen the drama by the government on the issue. We condemn the Centre and Congress for not getting the bill for reservation in promotion passed,” she told reporters outside Parliament premises.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who is also the Leader of the Lok Sabha, also rejected Mayawati's allegation that Congress was not serious about the passage of the bill.
Shinde said Congress President Sonia Gandhi had taken an “aggressive stand” in Lok Sabha yesterday on the issue “and people who say this are wrong”.
Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily said, “The way Gandhi reacted with emotion shows the party's intention on the issue of reservation. If anybody made comments on that, then they are not honest.”
Nath accused BJP of adopting opposite stands in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha on the quota bill.
“Unfortunately, BJP which supported the bill in Rajya Sabha changed its stand when the bill reached Lok Sabha. Earlier, they said it was fully legal and said the country needed it. Now they say it is not constitutional,” he said.
“This was only the reflection of politics they played. They mean something else and say something else,” Nath said.
Both Nath and Shinde said they would talk to various parties to evolve a consensus so that the bill could be taken up in the Budget Session.