The Congress government in Madhya Pradesh told the assembly on Wednesday that it has “in principle” agreed to provide 10 per cent reservation in jobs and education to economically poor in the general category. Making an announcement of this effect, Chief Minister Kamal Nath said a Cabinet sub-committee will be constituted on the issue.
The announcement came after main opposition BJP demanded implementation of 10 per cent quota in jobs and education for general category poor candidates. A law in this regard was enacted by the Centre last month. BJP members alleged the ruling Congress has been discriminating against the youths of unreserved category by not providing them reservation.
Just after the Question Hour, Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava asked the state government to clarify its stand on the issue and sought implementation of the quota law for economically poor in accordance with the 124th Constitutional Amendment Bill passed by Parliament.
Reacting to Bhargava’s demand, Nath announced his government has “in principle” agreed about giving reservation to the general category poor. Saying this was a part of the Congress manifesto, Nath said a Cabinet sub-committee will be formed to look into the upper-caste quota law implementation in the state. However, this announcement did not satisfy BJP members.
Narottam Mishra (BJP), a former minister, said this is an important issue associated with the youths of the state. He alleged the Congress government has been discriminating against the general category youths under a “conspiracy”.
Mishra said if the government is serious, it should set a deadline for the quota implementation. Speaker N P Prajapati tried to pacify opposition MLAs by saying that the issue will be discussed separately.
Talking to reporters later, Bhargava said several states have implemented the 10 per cent reservation law for economically weaker sections, but it seems that the Congress government is not interested to extend this benefit to the youths in Madhya Pradesh.
Earlier, at the outset of Question Hour, Bhargava and Mishra raised the matter of ministers giving statements in the media which were at variance with their written replies in the assembly. Terming this as a “Constitutional crisis”, Bhargava claimed that the ministers backtracked from written statements given in the House (on issues of Mandsaur firing, irregularities in tree plantation drive and organisation of 2016 Simhastha or religious fair in Ujjain).
He said that he Congress ministers contradicted their own statements while talking to the media. Pointing at Nath’s tweet about the Mandsaur police firing besides alleged scams in tree plantation and holding of Simhastha, Mishra said the CM’s tweet contradicted ministers’ written replies.
Claiming that nothing unconstitutional has happened, Nath said that he is well aware of constitutional provisions and doesnt need a lesson on this issue from the opposition.
In written replies in the assembly on Monday, respective ministers endorsed the previous BJP government’s stand on the Mandsaur police firing, in which six farmers were killed in June 2017, besides alleged scams in tree plantation carried out along the Narmada and construction work for Simhastha. However, the ministers concerned later appeared to backtrack from their statements in the House.