Quotas in the private sector was on the Common Minimum Programme of UPA-I, and on the Congress manifesto for the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
The CPI’s D Raja said the allocation of “just 0.192 per cent of the total budget” for a “ministry that caters to 68 per cent of the population” showed how low it was in the government’s priorities. In a reference to the Mayawati-Rita Bahuguna Joshi controversy, Raja said in a country where a Dalit chief minister got a “raw deal” due to a “casteist mindset”, it was hardly surprising that atrocities against Dalits were continuing.
He demanded that the government take up the 50 per cent cap on reservations with the Supreme Court, and keep the promise of introducing quotas in the private sector.
Raja’s views were echoed by the CPM’s T K Rangarajan.
The JD(U)’s Shivanand Tiwari demanded reservations for Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians on the basis of the Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission’s report. The LJP’s Sabir Ali supported Tiwari.