Uproar in Assembly over Reservation for Women, Backward Classes

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir State Assembly witnessed an uproar and noisy scenes on Wednesday over the issue of providing reservation to backward classes and women in all institutions of the state, including local bodies.

Legislators shouted anti-government slogans in the well of the house after the issue of reservation for the backward classes and women came up for discussion.

The legislators from the Jammu and Kashmir Panthers Party (JKPP) raised the issue and they started shouting slogans after no heed was paid to their demand.

Elections to the local bodies would take place soon and the JKPP demanded that 33 percent seats should be reserved for the backward Scheduled Castes (SCs) and eight percent for women.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Leader of Opposition Mehbooba Mufti of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) addressed the house and tried to calm the legislators.

A legislator of the JKPP, Harsh Dev Singh, said the state government was deliberately evading the issue of reservation to backward classes and women in the run-up to the polls.

“Eight percent reservation is provided in the constitution for SCs in all institutions of the state, including assembly as well. They are entitled under the constitution to their legitimate share of reservation,” Singh said.

“But here we see that SCs are being deprived of their due share, their legitimate share, to which they are entitled under the constitution. No seat under the said category has been reserved in the block development council,” he added.

“That is why we were agitating. That they need to be given their due share, which is eight percent in the state. The state has refused to give it, and likewise, women are also to reservation because at various levels they are getting 33 percent reservation,” he said.

Seats in the local bodies are reserved for backward classes and women in some states of the country.

However, the seats are not reserved in the state assembly of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Kashmir Valley would soon be witnessing polls for the provincial and local bodies like the village councils.

The conducting of elections in smooth and fair manner is a challenge for the provincial government in wake of the recent attack by the militants on the village council headmen.

This issue was raised during the recent visit of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi to the state.

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