A large group of Bhim Army members, led by its chief Chandrashekhar Azad, held a protest march in Delhi on Sunday against the Supreme Court’s judgement on reservations, reported PTI. The top court had ruled on February 7 that there is no fundamental right to reservations in promotions in government jobs.
“Now the time has come when the SC/ST/OBC [Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe/Other Backward Classes] and other minority people need to come together for their rights,” Azad said. “The Bharatiya Janata Party is against the minorities in the country. The nation will run with Ambedkar’s Constitution and this movement will not stop here. There would be a big movement on February 23 and it should be held peacefully.” The protest march began from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar in the national Capital.
On Wednesday, Azad had called for a nationwide strike on February 23 against the ruling. He had also urged MPs and MLAs belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to urge the Centre to bring an ordinance to nullify the verdict.
“The judgment of the apex court is totally against the Constitution’s promise of right to equality,” said Bhim Army spokesperson Harjeet Singh Bhatti on Sunday. “We want the government to bring an amendment against this judgment.”
The Supreme Court had said in its judgement on February 7 that states cannot be forced to provide caste-based reservations as there is no fundamental right to quotas. The top court delivered the verdict after hearing pleas on reservations for members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes communities in promotions to assistant engineer (civil) posts in the Public Works Department of the Uttarakhand government.
Following an uproar from the Opposition during the Budget session of Parliament, the Centre said that it was not a party to the case in the Supreme Court. Union Minister of Social Justice Thawar Chand Gehlot said that the top court’s order was associated with a 2012 decision of the previous Congress regime in Uttarakhand. The Congress protested against this claim.