LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh Government on Monday tabled a resolution in the Assembly, demanding that the Centre include Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians in the Scheduled Caste category by deleting Clause 3 of the Constitutional (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950.
The move drew an instant reaction from the Bharatiya Janata Party members. They stormed the well of the House, protesting against the manner in which Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mohd Azam Khan tabled the resolution. This forced the Speaker to adjourn the House.
The resolution was tabled amid uproarious scenes and even as the Bahujan Samaj Party members were staging a dharna in the well in protest against the Parliamentary Affairs Minister’s accusation that the Ambedkar statue’s desecration in Kanpur was masterminded by the BSP. The BSP had earlier demanded a CBI inquiry into the Kanpur incident. Leader of the Opposition Lalji Tandon and the Congress supported the BSP’s demand.
Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav said action had been taken in the form of arrest of the culprits and suspension of the Kanpur SSP and Kakadeo Station House Officer.
The resolution said all sections listed in the Scheduled Caste category, under Article 341 of the Constitution, should be extended reservation benefits, irrespective of to which religion they belonged. All classes of Scheduled Castes, including Muslims or Christians, should be given the same benefit. Denial of such benefit to Dalit Muslims and Christians not only violated Articles 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution, but was also against the principles of justice.
The resolution said it was the firm belief of the Government that just as religion cannot form the basis of quota benefits, denial of these rights to Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians, solely on the basis of their religion, also violated the Constitution.
While the BJP members stormed Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey’s chamber during the adjournment period, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister defended the Government move. He told newsmen that the BJP was opposing the resolution because of the word “Muslim.” The tabling of the resolution figured in the House business agenda for the day.
Earlier, the entire question hour was lost after the House was adjourned after five minutes of re-assembling following tumultous scenes with the BSP, Congress and BJP demanding a discussion on the Kanpur incident. They entered the well when the BSP members were staging a dharna.
Raising the issue when the House reassembled at 1.15 p.m., Swamy Prasad Maurya (BSP) alleged that the Government was trying to sweep the issue under the carpet. Demanding a CBI inquiry, Mr. Maurya demanded the Chief Minister’s resignation on moral grounds. Supporting him, Pramod Tiwari (Congress) said escalation of violence in Maharashtra in reaction to the Kanpur incident was an issue, which should be investigated.
Mr. Tandon wanted rules to be framed for setting up statues.
The Chief Minister accused the BSP of politicising the issue with an eye on the coming polls. Dr. Ambedkar was a national leader and the BSP was turning him into a leader of particular caste and party, he said.