Raj Bhawan unhappy with ruling BJP's attitude over Reservation Bill

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Jaipur, Nov 9 (UNI) Taking serious cognizance to media reports, the Raj Bhawan has categorically refuted allegations from the ruling BJP leaders, including some senior members of Council of Ministers, about delay in Governor S K Singh's nod to the Rajasthan Reservation Bill-2008 under pressure from the Congress.

The ruling party's move of making representation with the Governor over the Reservation Bill, apparently aimed at raking up the Gujjar reservation issue for political mileage in the ensuing Assembly elections, prompted the Raj Bhawan to issue a rejoinder on visit of a BJP delegation to the Bhawan on Friday to seek Governor's early consent to the Bill.

The Raj Bhawan has expressed its displeasure over allegations made before the media by the BJP leaders that Mr Singh had blocked the pending Bill under pressure from the Congress.

''It is wrong as well as untrue to say that the Governor is taking action or not taking action because of the pressure of the Congress, while at the same time it is also being said that the Congress gave support in the Assembly for the passage of the Bill.

All this does not appear to be logical,'' a Raj Bhawan release said.

The Raj Bhavan also expressed its displeasure over ''inaccurate'' briefing of the media on what transpired between the delegation and the Governor during the hour-long interaction.

''We believe that in such cases, while briefing details to the press, accurate words should be used,'' said the release from the Governor's Secretariat.

The Raj Bhavan took exception to references that the delegation had ''warned'' the Governor about possible ''public anger'' in case of a further delay in the clearance of the Bill, passed in July by the Rajasthan Assembly and held no such points figured during the discussions, minutes of which had been noted down by the officials.

The Bill accords 5 per cent reservation to Gujjars and three other castes and provides for 14 per cent reservation to economically backward classes in unreserved higher castes.

The Governor made it clear that he was not impressed either with the argument that the Bill was under the provisions of Article 38 and 46, included in Part 4 (Directive Principles) of the Constitution or the assertion that it was passed unanimously by the Assembly.

''They could not explain why the Bill has not been prepared under the relevant Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution,'' the rejoinder noted.

Moreover, ''the Constitution does not make any distinction between a Bill which was passed unanimously or that which was passed by a smaller majority,'' it added.

''There is no provision in the Constitution by which the Governor is bound to immediately assent and sign a Bill passed unanimously by the Assembly,'' asserted the Raj Bhavan.

The Governor, during the discussions, told the BJP leaders that he followed the principles of Mahatma Gandhi and would not do anything that ''hurts or harms the interests of the coming generations of India and Rajasthan.'' ''Since the assembly elections are going to be held in the state and model code of conduct has come into force, thus keeping in the mind sanctity of the election process it does not consider it right to engage in protracted debate over the issue. After the election, all of us will work as per the Constitution and law,'' the Raj Bhawan has counselled.

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