The chief of the Bhim Army, Chandrashekhar Azad has given the call for a “Bharat Bandh” today. The “Bharat Bandh” call has been given to protest against the recent ruling of the Supreme Court of India which says that reservation in appointments and promotion in public posts will no longer be valid in India.
The call for this nationwide closure has been supported by many parties from the Opposition such as Rashtriya Janta Dal(RJD) of Bihar that has extended its support for the success of the bandh. In a statement issued on Friday, RJD had announced that it supports the bandh’s purpose which was to protect the reservation policy as sanction in the India Constitution.
Upendra Kushwaha led Rashtriya Lok Samta Party(RLSP), Titan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awami Morcha and Pappa Yadav’s Jan Adhikar Party have extended their support to the ban.
Many students’ organisations and political outfits inking the Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samitti(CYSS)and activists have lent their support to the bandh.
It was on February 9 that the Supreme Court had ruled that the states were not bound to provide reservation in appointments and promotions and that there was no fundamental right to reservations in promotions. The Supreme Court had been hearing a group of appeals pertaining too reservations to SCs and Sts to promotions in the posts of Assistant Engineer(Civil) and PWD, Uttarakhand.
The Supreme Court ruled that the state governments can no longer be directed to provide reservation for appointment in public posts. Similarly, the state is not bound t0e make reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in matters of promotion. But if the state wishes to exercise its discretion in providing reservation, the state has to collect quantifiable data showing the inadequacy of representation.
It was only after a day of the ruling that, Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad south a a review of the order and called a nationwide bandh on February 23.
Azad said, ” I want to appeal to all my friends of Bahujan Samaj that you have seen the mentality of the government. Now, we are going to organise a march on February 16 from Mandi House to the Parliament House. We have called for a Bharat Bandh on February 23 because the Constitution is being attacked. Be it reservation, be it citizenship or employment: we have to work on these issues. We should protest peacefully and convey our message to the government as well as the Supreme Court.”
He also made an appeal to the Centre to nullify this ruling. The Opposition parties have opposed the ruling of the Supreme Court and asked the Centre for its stand. The Congress has accused the BJP of being against the rights of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes of India by remaining unclear about its stand on the SC ruling.