Bharat Bandh Today: High alert in UP, Bihar's Darbhanga as Bhim Army Chief's call for shutdown
New Delhi, February 22: The call for Bharat bandh by Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad on Sunday, February 23, against the Supreme Court's ruling on the reservation in appointments and promotions in public posts has seen widespread support from several social and political outfits.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court has said that there is "no fundamental right which inheres in an individual to claim reservation in promotions". "In view of the law laid down by this Court, there is no doubt that the State Government is not bound to make reservations... No mandamus can be issued by the Court directing the State Government to provide reservations," a bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta held.
This was seen by many as a step towards ending reservation for Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and OBCs. Following the apex court's observation, Azad, who recently got out on bail, called for a 'Bharat bandh' to build pressure on the government to bring an ordinance to nullify the ruling.
In Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav's RJD Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awami Morcha, and Pappu Yadav's Jan Adhikar Party have lent their support.
Ahead of the protest, Azad said that the dream of "Hindu Rashtra" will never be fulfilled. "With Bharat Bandh, the country's Bahujan Samaj will send a message that RSS and BJP will never succeed in making Hindu Rashtra. We will make India of Ambedkar's dream," Azad tweeted.
In reply, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawarchand Gehlot had told Parliament that the Centre was not a party in the SC, adding that the top court order pertained to a decision of the Uttarakhand government taken in 2012 when the Congress was in power in the state.