New Delhi, May 2: Expressing its commitment for reservation for SC, ST and OBC in promotion, the government today sought the cooperation of the Congress in creating the right atmosphere before a law could be enacted to give the proposal the statutory backing. Admitting that there were sections in the NDA as well as in the Congress who were opposed to reservation in promotions, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot said “the government favours reservation in promotion…(but) we need to create the right atmosphere.”

The Minister was responding to the demand for reservation in promotion raised by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge during a debate on demands of grants for the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The demands were later passed by the Lok Sabha after rejecting opposition-sponsored cut motions by voice vote. “If Congress can give in writing that it favoured reservation in promotion (for members of Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Caste), the government will push forward the proposal,” Gehlot said.(Also Read: Gujarat Congress seeks 20 per cent reservation for EBCs)

Earlier during the UPA regime, a bill to ensure reservation in promotion was approved by the Rajya Sabha but could not go through in the Lok Sabha because of differences among political parties. Seeking to put the ball in the BJP’s court, Kharge said at present, the NDA government has the majority and it should try to push the proposal so that members of the SC, ST and OBC may get the benefit of reservation in promotion. The NDA members, Kharge said, should convince Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the need for reservation in promotion.

Several members also raised the issue that members of SC and ST communities were not adequately represented in higher judiciary and the corporate sector. Gehlot said if the corporate sector willingly decide to provide reservation to SC, ST and OBC, the government will not have any problem. “If the corporates willingly create an atmosphere for giving reservation, we will have no problem,” the Minister said.