Debating India

OBC RESERVATION

PMK wants ordinance on quota

Thursday 18 May 2006, by VENKATESAN*J.

For 27 per cent reservation to OBCs in higher educational institutions

IITs and IIMs should be included, says Ramadoss "PM and Sonia showed unflinching commitment to the issue" Several Union Ministers and various Chief Ministers supported the reservation, says PMK chief "We will give unconditional support to DMK Government for five years"

New Delhi: The Founder President of Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), S. Ramadoss, on Wednesday urged the Centre to promulgate an ordinance forthwith to provide for 27 per cent reservation to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in higher educational institutions, including the IITs and IIMs.

Addressing a press conference, Dr. Ramadoss said, "An ordinance may be promulgated as soon as all the suggestions are concretised and it can be ratified in the monsoon session of Parliament so that the 27 per cent quota for OBCs could be given effect from the current academic year itself."

Dr. Ramadoss, who was here on a mission to mobilise support for the quota issue, said he met the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and impressed upon them the need for implementing 27 per cent reservation in higher educational institutions from this academic year, and their commitment to the issue was unflinching.

He said he also met the former Prime Minister V. P. Singh, Union Ministers, Arjun Singh, Lalu Prasad and Ramvilas Paswan and JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav.

The PMK leader said that he also spoke to Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Nitish Kumar respectively seeking their support on the issue and all of them had responded favourably.

Dr. Ramadoss pointed out that Parliament had already enacted the 93rd Constitution Amendment to provide for such reservation and the delay in bringing legislation to give effect to the amendment in the last four or five months had exempted private institutions from implementing the quotas.

He said "as far as centrally funded institutions are concerned, we want an immediate legislation for the reservation so that the benefit can reach the students within this academic session."

On the suggestion to increase the seats in the general category, he said the Government should enhance the infrastructure in educational institutions and for this purpose greater allocation of resources must be made.

He said the present agitation of medicos in New Delhi and elsewhere was uncalled for and it appeared that it had been engineered by vested interests for their own purpose.

He said they must realise that a large number of indigent and poor patients were put to hardship by their strike and that their agitation was against the directions of the Supreme Court. Dr. Ramadoss appealed to the Centre to defuse the situation by inviting the striking students and doctors for talks.

To a question, he said that his party would request the DMK Government in Tamil Nadu to enact a law soon to provide for the reservation.

He said that after the Supreme Court in August 2005, in the Inamdar case, struck down quotas, only two or three States had enacted a law and Tamil Nadu should also follow suit.

Asked why his party was not joining the Ministry in Tamil Nadu, he said "it was a policy decision. Even if Mr. Karunanidhi invites us to joint the Ministry, we will not take part. We will give our unconditional support to the DMK Government for five years."

See online : The Hindu

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