Congress will bring govt to its knees over SC reservation, ‘decisive action’ in two days: Surjewala

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Rahul Gandhi attacks BJP on Pulwama attack, asks who benefited most from strike

CHANDIGARH/ NEW DELHI, Feb 14 (AGENCIES): The Congress on Friday said it will bring the government to its knees for “sabotaging” job quotas for the SCs, STs and the OBCs, warning it of “decisive action” in the next two days. Against the backdrop of a recent Supreme Court judgement, Congress leaders Randeep Singh Surjewala and Kumari Selja accused the BJP and the RSS of conspiring to end reservation for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes.

Mounting a fresh offensive against the BJP government on the first anniversary of the Pulwama terror attack, the Congress on Friday accused it of using the sacrifice of soldiers for electoral gains and asked who benefited the most from the strike.

As Pulwama occupied the political centrestage, several Congress leaders, including former president Rahul Gandhi, raised questions on the inquiry into the attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel and why it was not being made public. Gandhi asked who was made accountable for the terror attack on a security convoy in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14 last year.

“Today as we remember our 40 CRPF martyrs in the #PulwamaAttack, let us ask: 1. Who benefitted the most from the attack? 2. What is the outcome of the inquiry into the attack? 3. Who in the BJP Govt has yet been held accountable for the security lapses that allowed the attack?” he posted on Twitter.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the entire nation paid homage to the martyrs of Pulwama and many questions remain.

“Why is the report of Pulwama attack not being made public? Who is accountable? Who brought the 350 Kgs IED? Why were intelligence reports of attack ignored? Did Devinder Singh have any role,” he tweeted, referring to the Jammu and Kashmir police officer arrested along with two Hizbul Mujahideen militants.

“Every Indian is proud of Pulwama martyrs! Why can’t Modi Govt tell the names of our brave jawans? Why is Govt not giving details of financial assistance given to families of our bravehearts? Why hide the investigation report? What is BJP Govt hiding?  Nation wants to know,” Surjewal went on to say on Twitter. Addressing a press conference, his colleague Jaiveer Shergill alleged that the BJP had used the attack and the sacrifice of soldiers for electoral gains.

Last week, the Supreme Court said states are not bound to provide reservation in appointments or promotions. The apex court verdict upheld the Uttarakhand government’s contention on the issue.

“There are two options before the government and we will force them on their knees on behalf of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes till they accept,” Surjewala, who is the party’s chief spokesperson, said. He said the options are to go back to the Supreme Court and seek a review, or bring in an ordinance or legislation to undo the judgment.

Surjewala said many Congress members have filed petitions in their individual capacities against the judgment.

“And in the next two days, we are going to take a decisive step in this regard,” he said. He did not elaborate whether he was referring to a legal remedy against the Supreme Court verdict or the district-level protests that the Congress will hold on Sunday.

At their joint press conference here, Surjewala and Haryana Congress chief Kumar Selja claimed that the BJP and RSS have been “sabotaging” reservation to the oppressed sections of society. Surjewala said the prime minister should have sought an explanation from the BJP government in Uttarakhand its stand in the apex court.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi should apologise before the country and dismiss the Uttarakhand chief minister,” he said. Surjewala and Selja charged that it is in the DNA of the BJP and the RSS to try to erase reservations and take away the rights of the deprived sections.

Selja said the Congress will stage protests on Sunday at the district-level to “expose” the Modi government’s “conspiracy to end reservation” for SCs, STs and OBCs.

The Supreme Court’s ruling was related to pleas on Uttarakhand government’s September 2012 decision to fill up all posts in public services without providing reservations to the SCs and STs.

“In view of the law laid down by this court, there is no doubt that the state government is not bound to make reservations,” the bench of justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta said.

“There is no fundamental right which inheres in an individual to claim reservation in promotions,” it added. The Congress leaders also claimed that cases of atrocities against Dalits in the country have been on the rise under the BJP government. They said there was a 20 per cent increase in such cases during the five years of the BJP government in Haryana.

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