ST quota row: Congress government mulls special session of assembly | Raipur News.

RAIPUR: Amid simmering resentment in tribal communities over the reservation issue, the Congress government in Chhattisgarh might convene a special session of the assembly to discuss the situation arising out of the recent high court order that set aside 58% quota, which included 32% ST reservation, in jobs and admissions to educational institutions of the state.
Senior tribal leader and excise minister Kawasi Lakhma hinted that the meeting of the state cabinet, scheduled to be held on October 17, could consider convening a special session of Vidhan Sabha.
He reiterated the Congress position that the ‘setback’ in the high court was caused because the previous BJP government did not present the facts properly to defend its decision to enhance reservation to 58%.
On the other hand, the opposition BJP has mounted a campaign against the Congress government, organising agitations in the tribal areas, accusing it of failing to defend the case properly in the high court.
The 2012 decision to enhance quota to 58% was challenged in court and the BJP government was in power till 2018. The previous government did not present the complete facts before the court, which led to the setback,” Lakhma said, adding that the Congress has now set up a panel of three senior top advocates — Kapil Sibal, Mukul Rohatgi and Abhishek Manu Singhvi — to study and argue the government’s appeal in Supreme Court. He reiterated that the Congress government is committed to provide 32% reservation to tribals. Sarva Adivasi Samaj, an umbrella organisation of tribal communities, has launched agitations mainly in tribal Bastar and Surguja divisions.
Its leaders have called upon chief minister Bhupesh Baghel to consider promulgating an ordinance to restore 32% reservation to scheduled tribes. Tribal communities have resorted to road blockades and are taking out rallies in Bastar and Surguja divisions. Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has said that the Congress government is in favour of providing reservation on the basis of percentage of population of each community. On Saturday, he had told a delegation of Sarva Adivasi Samaj that ways are being explored to overcome the situation arising out of high court order and all possible steps would be taken to save reservation.
Twelve years after Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh, the then BJP government enhanced the overall reservation to 58% following demand from the tribal communities. However, the decision was challenged in high court, which on September 19 this year set aside the order granting 58% quota, holding that any reservation above 50% is unconstitutional. The high court decision is being perceived by tribal communities as a setback as their proposed reservation declined from 32% to 20% while SC reservation increased from 12% to 16% and OBC reservation remained at 14% as it was prevailing during undivided Madhya Pradesh. Another fallout was that district cadre reservation in tribal Bastar and Surguja divisions in class III and class IV appointments in government jobs have also come to an end, giving a setback to tribal communities.

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