In support of two Bills that increase reservation to 76%, Chhattisgarh’s ruling Congress will hold a massive rally at the Raj Bhavan in Raipur on January 3, according to Sushil Shukla, chief of the party’s state media cell. Governor Anusuiya Uikey has refused to sign the legislation and instead raised ten questions.
On Monday, Chief Minister Bhupesh Singh Baghel referred to Uikey as a “egotist” and accused her of delaying the Bills for “some pretext” and aiming to weaken a statutory authority. “ My officers instructed me not to respond to the 10 questions, as there is no provision for this in the Constitution. Still, I answered her questions to appease her ego so that the bills that would benefit over 2.75 billion people may pass.
However, she now claims that she would have a legal counsel investigate the matter. “Is the legal counsel now larger than the Vidhan Sabha?” he stated.
The chief minister stated that only the high court or the Supreme Court may review the judgements of the executive branch. “Will the advisor now complete their work? “It is quite regrettable that this is the reason why the Bills are stopped,” he added.
Baghel told the media on December 25 that the governor should sign the Bills since his government had responded to the governor’s questions. “She stated that she would not sign (the Bills) until she had responses, but now that she has received them, she must sign them,” he said. Uikey later stated that she will review the responses and make a decision regarding the Bills.
The chief minister and the governor are engaged in a tug-of-war regarding the Chhattisgarh Public Service (Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes Reservation) Amendment Bill and the Chhattisgarh Educational Institutions (Reservation in admission) Amendment Bill, both of which were passed by the Assembly on December 2. They reserve government positions and educational institutions in proportion to the population of different categories, bringing the state’s total reservation rate to 76%.
According to the Bills, scheduled tribes will receive a 32% quota, OBCs a 27% quota, and scheduled castes a 13% quota in public jobs and admittance to educational institutions. Four percent has been set aside for economically vulnerable sections (EWS).
However, Uikey has declined to sign the Bills and has asked the state government the following questions: 1) Before drafting the Bills, did the government compile quantitative data on scheduled castes and scheduled tribes? 2) The cumulative reservation limit for government employment is capped at 50% and can only be raised in exceptional circumstances. Was research conducted on this? 3) In September, the Chhattisgarh High Court ruled that a 58 percent increase in reservations was unlawful. In two and a half months, this Bill will be passed again. So, what information do you have regarding the extraordinary circumstances that have led to the passage of these bills? 4) Provide information on how SCs and STs are excluded from the state’s social, economic, and educational growth. 5)Was a committee constituted to determine the fate of this reservation? 6) Please provide the government commission report that was given to the ministerial council. 7) Please share the government’s legal department’s view on the Bills. 8) Does the law provide for reservations for economically disadvantaged groups? 9) Why aren’t the positions designated for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes being filled? In accordance with the Constitution, administration efficiency must be maintained while granting reservations. Exists any evidence that the efficiency will be preserved?
(With inputs from PTI)