GUWAHATI, July 20 � Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members today staged walkout in the State Assembly in protest against the failure of the Government to give categorical assurance in matters of filling up the backlogs in the posts reserved for the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) in Government services.
The AGP and the BJP members staged the walkout during the debate on The Assam Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Vacancies in Services and Posts) (Amendment) Bill, 2012.
The Opposition members demanded that the Government should spell out categorically as to what it was up to in matters of filling up the backlogs in such posts.
AGP�s Phani Bhusan Choudhury and Bhupen Roy said at the stage of consideration of the Bill that there was resentment among the SC and ST people in connection with the backlog posts. There are over 5,500 backlog posts for the SC and ST communities in the Government services of the State, they argued.
Minister of State (Independent) for Welfare of Plains Tribes and Backward Classes etc., Rajiv Lochan Pegu who defended the Bill in the House said that it was due to a verdict of the Supreme Court of India that the Government was compelled to bring in the Bill.
The apex court has asked the Government to go for post-based reservation in the Government service against the existing vacancy-based approach. The vacancy-based reservation system led to rise in the number of backlogs in the reserved category posts. However, it is expected that the post-based system would not lead to such a situation. The Government would go for a special drive to remove the existing backlogs in the reserved category posts, he said.
However, the Opposition members including Phani Bhusan Choudhury, Bhupen Roy and Ranjit Das (BJP) and BPF members including Kamal Singh Narzary and Pramila Rani Brahma, were not satisfied with the response from the Minister.
Pramila Rani Brahma suggested that there should be a special Bill to remove the backlogs and then only the Bill for post-based reservation should be tabled in the House.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Nilamoni Sen Deka said at this point that the Bill has the provision for filling up the backlogs. But the Opposition members were unrelenting.
The Bill was later passed by the House by voice vote.