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  India   All India  09 May 2018  New twist hits BJP dalit outreach

New twist hits BJP dalit outreach

Published : May 9, 2018, 1:51 am IST
Updated : May 9, 2018, 1:51 am IST

Minister seeks quotas even for contract staff, outsourced services.

Thawar Chand Gehlot, Union  minister
 Thawar Chand Gehlot, Union minister

New Delhi: The BJP’s efforts to reach out to dalits got a fresh twist with social justice and empowerment minister Thawar Chand Gehlot demanding “reservations” even in employees hired on contract and as consultants by the Union and state governments. The minister even wanted the “reservation” of backwards — which include Scheduled Castes and Tribes and Other Backward Classes — in services that are outsourced by all  government departments. The minister pointed out that it would be “prudent” on the government’s part to enforce such reservations as salaries for these posts is being paid by the government. The demand can be significant as the Lok Sabha elections are less than a year away.

Mr Gehlot’s demand was made in a recent letter to the minister of state in charge of the department of personnel and training, Mr Jitendra Singh. Interestingly, the DoPT reports directly to the Prime Minister’s Office. Sources said the letter came after repeated complaints to the minister regarding less than adequate employment of these weaker sections in government employment made through these means. “All Central and state government ministries, departments, corporations, establishments and independent organisations should be asked to issue an order on this at the earliest,” Mr Gehlot’s letter said.

“The number of appointments to these vacancies is fairly large, whereas the proportional representation of SCs, STs and OBCs is relatively less in these posts. Since the financial burden or payment of salaries for such appointments is being made by government budgetary allocation, it would be prudent that benefit of reservation to such sections of society should also be extended in these appointments,” the missive added.

The step comes in the wake of recent severe criticism of the Narendra Modi government over its handling of the March 20 Supreme Court ruling barring immediate arrest of a person accused of insulting or injuring a Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe individual. In the aftermath of the court’s order, the entire Budget Session of Parliament was also washed out as the Opposition parties united in their criticism of the BJP government.

In an effort to reach out to the backward communities, the BJP had also asked its elected representatives to reach out to the dalits by eating food at their homes.

Tags: thawar chand gehlot, backward classes, narendra modi government