Congress set to provide 50% representation to SC, ST, OBC minorities at all levels in the organization
The Congress is set to provide 50 per cent representation to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBCs and minorities at all levels in the party organisation, as part of its social engineering efforts to win back the trust of weaker sections. As part of a change in stance on quota within quota in the Women’s Reservation Bill, the party may resolve to demand that the reservation for women in the Lok Sabha and assemblies should lead to proportionate reservations for SCs, STs and OBCs. women.
Senior leader and Union Minister Salman Khurshid addresses a media briefing on the deliberations of the Panel on Social Justice and Empowerment, set up by party chief Sonia Gandhi to lead the discussion on the issue at Congress’ three-day ‘Nav Sankalp Chintan Shivir’ here. Said while doing The panel has also recommended the formation of a Social Justice Advisory Council to the Congress President. Khurshid, convener of the panel on social justice and empowerment, said there would be an attached department which would collect data for social engineering and make it available to the Pradesh Congress Committees (PCCs) and other party units.
He said that social justice is a principled commitment but the basic tool for this is social engineering. Panel member and coordinator for overseeing the activities of SC/OBC/minority departments of Congress, K Raju said that the party’s constitution has a provision of 20 percent reservation for SC, ST, OBC and minorities.
“The group discussed and decided that in the short term we should increase it to 50 per cent. He said that fifty percent reservation should be provided in all committees starting from booth committees, block committees, district committees, PCC and CWC. He said that some participants are of the view that we need to go beyond 50 per cent, but the members felt that first we should increase it from 20 per cent to 50 per cent.
Raju said that the Khurshid-led group has recognized that there are many sub-castes within SCs and STs and the party needs to focus on those sub-castes, which have not been represented in the organization or the government so far, And they should be given justice. Them. “Therefore, from now on the focus will be on identifying those sub-castes in these communities, which are not adequately represented in the organization and in the government as well,” Raju said.
He said that the panel has also recommended adoption by the CWC that once in six months there will be a special session of the Working Committee, PCC, DCC to discuss all the issues related to SC, ST, OBC and minorities, so that the party is formed. are. Be conscious of your issues and take decisions accordingly. Raju said the panel also discussed key policy commitments to demand from the government, which is in power, and implement them where the Congress is in power.
“The group has long debated the issue related to the caste-based census of OBCs and all other communities. The group strongly recommended that the Congress should demand a caste-based census and express its commitment.” Raju said the women’s reservation bill was discussed in the panel and it has been recommended that the party should go ahead. Out of the reservation provided for women for quota within quota, there should be proportionate reservation for SC, ST, OBC women, Raju said.
Asked why there was a U-turn in his stand that when the UPA government passed the Women’s Reservation Bill in Rajya Sabha, he opposed quota within quota, Khurshid said, “Sometimes you have to strategically place laws.” We were committed to a quota. The problem with quotas for women and within a quota was that we assumed that there would not be easy consensus and consensus on that and the result would be that we would be out of reservation for women at that level. “Therefore, a conscious strategic decision was taken to let us get the quota first, then we will look at further divestment.” Khurshid said that now we have lost a lot of time and since then politics has also changed a lot and we believe that now is the right time to clarify where you stand.
He said that the party fully stood for women’s participation so that women of all sections could participate. “We don’t want anyone to believe that there is a hidden agenda that you bring in women but you bring in women who find it easier to get elected. So, after thoughtful input, we came to the conclusion that we should call the CWC. The time has come to hold the bull by the horns and make sure we are pushed quota within quota in one go, Khurshid said.
There is no discrepancy, we have moved on from the position where we strategically felt that quota should come first, he said. Responding to another question on the change in party’s stand on quota within quota, senior Congress leader and former Union minister Kumari Selja said, “There was never any objection to this (quota within quota). At that time there was a coalition government and it was difficult to take everyone along.
Noting that a very important policy for the advancement of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was the Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and the Tribal Sub-Plan, Raju said that the group has recommended a Central and State legislation on them. Raju said another important issue the group has deliberated upon and is in the process of recommending is reservation in the private sector for SC ST and OBC as there is a shortage of jobs in the public sector.
He said that the policy of providing reservation for OBCs in state legislatures and Parliament was also considered and the group is keen to recommend reservation for OBCs in assemblies and Parliament. The discussion in the ‘Chintan Shivir’, which began on Friday, will continue for the third day and the findings will be recorded in the form of an announcement. The draft declaration will be discussed in the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting to be held here on the third and last day of the conclave.
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