Ramdas Athawale, Union minister of state for social justice, in conversation with Preetha Nair
The SC said that reservation in promotions is not a fundamental right.
We are against the SC order. Reservation is a guaranteed right given by the Constitution. All the MPs and ministers from the SC and ST community are planning to meet PM Modi soon.
The government has not responded in Parliament regarding the court order. What is your stand?
I am part of the government. We want the government to move a review petition in the court. Our demand is that reservation provisions should be included in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution so that the rights of underprivileged communities are safeguarded. The Constitution should be amended. After that, nobody can appeal in courts to review reservation policies. I am hopeful that the government will pass the bill in the next session of Parliament.
It is perceived that RSS and BJP are against reservation. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat earlier made statements that reservation should be reviewed.
Mohan Bhagwat made that statement only once, but RSS later made its stand clear that it does not oppose reservations.
Last year, the BJP government implemented 10 per cent quota for economically weaker sections. Are you in favour of reservation based on economic backwardness?
Reservation should be extended to the economically backward among upper castes also. Our stand is that reservation should be extended to socially and economically backward categories.
A section of the Dalit community feels that atrocities against the community and lynching are on the rise after the Modi government came to power.
The Modi government is not against Dalits or minorities. Our slogan is ‘sabka saath, sabka vishwas’. There is no increase in crimes against the community—such things happened during UPA rule also.