Paswan, Athavale reiterate demand for reservations

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Nagpur, Oct 3 (UNI) Union Minister and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan and Republican Party of India-Athavale faction (RPI-A) president Ramdas Athavale today reiterated the demand for providing reservation in jobs for backward classes in the private sector.

Mr Paswan and Mr Athavale reiterated the demand while addressing a huge gathering at the golden jubilee celebrations of the RPI-A at the historic Kasturchand Park ground here.

In his speech, Mr Paswan said public sector undertakings (PSUs) were going into the hands of private sector because of disinvestments, and cited the example of car manufacturer Maruti Udyog Limited.

''How will the backward classes get jobs if PSU's became private entities? The interests of the underprivileged must be protected, and hence the need for reservation in the private sector,'' he said, adding that a law must be enacted forthwith to implement it.

Calling for reservations in the judiciary, Mr Paswan said such a facility would have existed if there had been a separate judicial service, on the lines of the administrative, police and foreign service, under the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

Mr Paswan expressed regret that even 60 years after independence, the underprivileged in the country continued to be in the same condition. ''The poor remained poor, their children had to sleep hungry and could not attend school, and the farmer was in a worse condition than before and had to commit suicide as he could not make ends meet,'' he said.

In his presidential address, Mr Athavale demanded that a Bill providing for reservations in the private sector be passed in the forthcoming session of Parliament. The Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) should include this and assurance given that reservations in the private sector would be implemented, he said. The RPI-A was demanding that the assurance be fulfilled as a constituent of the UPA, he added.

Mr Athavale said the reservations should continue in government and PSU jobs as long as there is discrimination on the basis of caste and class in the country. The facility of reservation should not remain enshrined in the Constitution, but should be implemented through a law adopted by the Centre and the state governments so that the backward get their rights, he said.

Calling for the formation of smaller states to ensure development, the RPI chief said regions like Vidarbha, Telangana, Purvanchal, Dadara-Diu-Daman and Kutch should be granted statehood.

Statehood for Vidarbha would be a solution to the large number of suicides by debt-ridden farmers in the region as piecemeal measures like packages would not get rid of the problem, he said.

Mr Athavale also demanded reservations for the economically backward, the formation of a separate security force for protecting the backward classes, unemployment allowance, hike in the rates of scholarships and wages, and the implementation of the Sachar panel's report.

Maharashtra Minister for Public Works Chhagan Bhujbal, Minister for Public Works (Undertakings) Anil Deshmukh and communist leader D Raja also spoke on the occasion.

UNI

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