In No Hurry, Ben­gal to Wait for SC Ver­dict on Quota Bill

CM Ma­mata Ban­er­jee holds no­ti­fi­ca­tion, ques­tions higher eco­nomic thresh­old

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Times­

Kolkata: Cit­ing higher eco­nomic thresh­old, the West Ben­gal gov­ern­ment has de­cided to wait for the Supreme Court or­der be­fore mov­ing in for the 10% reser­va­tion in the gen­eral cat­e­gory, sources said.

Since the day the NDA gov­ern­ment an­nounced reser­va­tion in ed­u­ca­tion and jobs for the eco­nom­i­cally weaker sec­tion in the gen­eral caste, Chief Min­is­ter Ma­mata Ban­er­jee has been ques­tion­ing the le­gal and con­sti­tu­tional va­lid­ity of the de­ci­sion.

In an ad­min­is­tra­tive meet­ing in Na­dia on Fri­day, she pre­dicted that this de­ci­sion­bytheNaren­draModigov­ern­ment would af­fect the gen­eral cat­e­gory and­shrinkop­por­tu­ni­tie­sev­en­more­for chil­dren­com­ingfromtheeco­nom­i­cally back­word class. On the eco­nomic thresh­old of Rs 8 lakh per an­num, she ar­gued that one will have to com­pete with peo­ple who earn more than Rs 60,000 a month and, in this sce­nario, how would a farmer’s son get a job.

On Mon­day, Ban­er­jee chaired a high­levelmeetingone­d­u­ca­tion­thatwen­ton for hours and an­nounced some sig­nif­i­cant de­ci­sions. There was, how­ever, no dis­cus­sion on quota, Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Partha Chat­ter­jee told ET. “We have not yet is­sued any no­ti­fi­ca­tion. And we can­not com­ment on this now, as the fi­nal call has not been taken,” he said.

A se­nior of­fi­cial at Na­banna said the Bill has been chal­lenged in the court. “We­would­wait­forthe­judg­men­ta­sour chief min­is­ter has been re­peat­edly ques­tion­ing the le­gal va­lid­ity of this since the be­gin­ning,” he said.

Ban­er­jee’s Tri­namool Congress has in Par­lia­ment asked for more clar­ity and de­manded that the Bill be sent to a se­lect com­mit­tee for le­gal vet­ting.

TMC par­lia­men­tary party leader in the Ra­jya Sabha, Derek O’Brien, spoke elab­o­rately on this and MP Sukhendu SekharRoy­al­so­raised­some­sig­nif­i­cant is­sues. “This ap­pears to be an ab­surd propo­si­tio­nandthere­has­been­nos­tudy done on the same. If we con­sider the high­er­sideof thethresh­old,whichisRs 8 lakh a year, then the Bill in­cludes the tax-pay­ing peo­ple. It en­com­passes ev­ery­one bar­ring few rich fam­i­lies. Isn’t it ir­ra­tional? We said in Par­lia­ment that it re­quired deeper study by the stand­ing com­mit­tee. The Bill should have also gone through a pub­lic scru­tiny. But the 124th con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment was made by not show­ing any re­spect to the Par­lia­ment pro­ceed­ings,” Roy said.

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