A Supreme Court ruling upholding an Allahabad High Court order quashing quotas for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in promotions in government jobs in Uttar Pradesh rocked the Lok Sabha on Thursday with members across parties demanding protection for the downtrodden.
Soon after the house met, members from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress raised the issue and did not let the question hour be taken up.
Members wanted Speaker Meira Kumar to allow an impromptu discussion on the subject.
The Supreme Court had in April overruled the Uttar Pradesh government's decision to provide reservations in government job promotions. The BSP, which was then in government, had raised the issue in the budget session too demanding a constitutional amendment to provide for such quotas.
The matter was raised by SP's Shailendra Kumar, who appealed to the government to uphold the interests of the downtrodden and come up with a constitutional amendment to provide for such reservations.
He was supported by Congress' P.L. Punia.
Responding to the members' concern, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said the matter was important and the government was proactive in according the rightful place to Dalits in the country.
However, he said, "the government's response to the SC order must be considered".
He admitted that a meeting on the matter could not take place over the last one-and-half months due to various reasons, but assured the members that the government would respond appropriately to the issue soon.