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Reservation: OBC MPs to press Govt on decision

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 14: With medical students upping the ante against proposed 27 per cent reservation for OBC students, a group of MPs are planning to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on May 17 to pressurise the UPA government to take a ''speedy'' decision on the matter soon.

The group of MPs, headed by Hanumantha Rao and V Narayansami, are contacting their colleagues in this regard, sources told UNI.

With the assembly elections in five states over, these MPs themselves belonging to OBC, want to build up pressure on the goverment to bring the issue before the Union cabinet soon so that a speedy decision could be taken for reserving seats in institutes of higher education like IITs, IIMs and AIIMS.

The Group of MPs also include Janata Dal (United) President Sharad Yadav who is a staunch supporter of reservation for OBCs in educational institutions. He has been supporting Mandal II on the grounds that reservation would help bridge the gap between the oppressed classes and the higher castes.

Irked by the National Knowledge Commission's opposition to reservation, these MPs are also demanding scrapping of the panel.

''How come the members, who are holding posts in the Union Government, could oppose Parliament's decision,'' Mr Yadav wondered.

In an indirect criticism of the Commission Chairman Sam Pitroda, he said the people based in the US/UK are not aware of Indian ''caste realities,'' so they would not appreciate the gesture.

Moreover, they cater to the interests of elites, he charged.

Earlier, Mr Yadav had said that the reservation for OBC was the ''unanimous decision'' of Parliament and so there was no need for wider public debate on the issue as favoured by the BJP.

Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan has also supported the reservation. However, he has demanded that ten per cent seats should be reserved for economically weaker sections of upper castes also.

The reservation issue rocked the nation when Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh revealed that the union cabinet would take a decision in this regard. He invoked Election Commission's ire which held him guilty of violating model code of conduct but did not punish due to lack of concrete evidence.

Now with assembly elections over and Parliament session on, the issue is likely to emerge as a major point of contention between various groups and the government may find it tough to take a decision on the matter soon.

UNI

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