An all-party meeting to discuss reservation in promotions in government jobs will be held Aug 21, the government said Thursday after the issue figured in both houses of parliament and led to brief disruption of proceedings.
Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V. Narayanasamy said the government would also try to bring a bill on it Aug 22.
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned twice after Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) members raised the issue of the Supreme Court quashing reservations in government job promotions to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in Uttar Pradesh.
BSP chief Mayawati raised the issue as soon as the house met, blaming the central government for not acting on its promises.
Even though Narayanasamy promised that a meeting would be called in the current session, BSP members continued their protests and moved near Chairman Hamid Ansari's podium, leading to adjournment of the house.
The protests restarted when the house met at noon, leading to a 15-minute adjournment.
However, when the house met again at 12.22 p.m., Narayanasamy announced the date of the meeting, which pacified the members.
"The prime minister will call a meeting of all party leaders on 21st of this month as has been demanded by the whole house. We will try to bring a bill on 22nd," Narayanasamy said.
In the Lok Sabha, the issue was raised by members from the BSP, Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress soon after the house met for the day.
Members wanted Speaker Meira Kumar to allow an impromptu discussion.
SP's Shailendra Kumar appealed to the government to uphold the interests of the downtrodden and come up with a constitutional amendment to provide for reservation in promotions.
He was supported by P.L. Punia of the Congress.
Responding to concern of members, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal admitted that a meeting on the issue could not take place over the last one and half months due to various reasons but assured that the government would respond soon.
"The matter is important and the government is pro-active in according the rightful place for Dalits in the country," Bansal said.
The Supreme Court in April this year quashed the Mayawati government's decision to provide reservation benefits for the SCs, STs and the OBCs in promotions, saying the state failed to furnish sufficient valid data to justify the move.
The BSP had raised the issue in the budget session of parliament demanding a constitutional amendment to provide for such quotas.