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PATNA: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday favoured reservation for backward classes in private sector jobs and said there should be a debate on the topic at the national level.
Nitish Kumar also defended Bihar government’s recent decision to extend provisions of reservation in the jobs of outsourced services.
“It is our personal opinion that existing provisions of reservation should be extended in private sector also. But there should be a debate on the issue at national level. Final decision on the issue will be taken by Parliament,” said Nitish, who is also the national president of one faction of JD(U), after his weekly ‘Lok Samvad’ programme here.
Almost a year back, the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) had suggested enacting a central legislation to make private firms set aside jobs for marginalised sections. But the NDA government at the Centre later denied any move to introduce reservations in the private sector. The NCBC had recommended that the Centre enact a law to make it mandatory for the private sector to reserve 27% of jobs for other backward classes (OBCs).
Union minister and Lok Jan-shakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan too had suggested that private sectors voluntarily set aside jobs for the SCs, STs and the OBCs.
To a question, Nitish supported the demand of reservation for Patidars in Gujarat. “I am still in favour of reservation to Patidars. Once I take a stand on any issue, I don’t change my stand,” the Bihar CM said.
Strongly defending his government’s recent decision to provide reservation to SCs, STs, EBCs and BCs in the outsourced jobs, Nitish further said, “The companies providing outsourced services will have to provide quota in their jobs as per the state government’s norms, if they are getting funds from the state resources.”
He said that reservations in outsourced jobs were being provided as per the provisions laid down in the Bihar Reservation Act. “Be it either contract or outsourced jobs, the companies will have to follow the state’s reservation rules, if there are using the state government fund,” the CM said.
Nitish also pointed out that in 2006 when the state government had appointed retired army men by forming the special auxiliary police (SAP), the state’s reservation rules were totally followed.
Apparently referring to a section of BJP leaders opposing the reservation in outsourced jobs, the CM said if some people want to hold unnecessary debate on the issue, what could he do? “When people will understand the basic concept of reservations, their misconception will end,” he said.
Bihar cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to introduce reservations in all services being provided in the state by way of outsourcing. A day after the cabinet decision, former union minister and Rajya Sabha member CP Thakur opposed reservation in the outsourced jobs, saying the move could lead to a social unrest and a drop in investments in the state.
A day after Thakur’s statement, BJP senior and Bihar deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi clarified that the BJP was “fully in favour of reservations in outsourced services” and that the recent decision of the state cabinet to this effect was taken “unanimously” by the JD(U)-BJP coalition government.