PANAJI: The Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) office-bearers and workers on Friday staged protest rally at Azad Maidan, Panaji against Government of India's anti-reservation stand thereby depriving Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other backward Classes (OBC) communities of their constitutional rights.
Addressing the protestors, AICC general secretary and Navelim MLA Luizinho Faleiro alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was anti-SC, anti-ST and anti-OBC communities and that they had been working to remove these reservations for these needy people. He said that the Congress party will protest against the hidden agenda of the BJP against these communities.
Luizinho alleged that the petition was filed in the Supreme Court by the Uttrakhand government to deny reservation to these need people and appealed to all not to go by the lip-service of the BJP governments. The BJP agenda was clear, he said adding that the Supreme Court order mandating the States were not legally bound to give reservation to SC, ST and OBC communities in government jobs would now be made applicable across the country. "They (BJP) will use the Supreme Court order and withdraw reservations of SC, ST and OBC communities," he said.
Luizinho further disclosed that the ongoing agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAA) should have been started in 2016 when the Modi government passed the amended Bill in the Lok Sabha. After the amendment Bill was passed there were widespread protests in North-Eastern States and four protesting students were shot dead by the police and many were left injured. He said that the then AICC president Rahul Gandhi assured the people of North-Eastern States that the Congress party will not allow the government to pass the Bill in the Upper House.
Leader of the Opposition Digambar Kamat alleged that the BJP governments both at the Centre and States were trying to divide the country by erasing reservations given to SC, ST and OBC communities by great Congress leaders. He said that the Uttarakhand government deliberately filed the petition and the Supreme Court ruled that the reservation to these communities on binding on States. This exposes BJP's hidden agenda to end reservation for those in need of these benefits.
Kamat said that the people had now realised the BJP's game plan and appealed to the Congress workers to highlight the BJP government's failures and hidden agenda.
GPCC president Girish Chodankar said that this was a complete betrayal of the trust and faith reposed in the Constitution and government, both at the Centre and State by the citizens of this country and especially those who belong to the SC, ST and OBC communities.
He said BJP does not follow constitution of India but Manusmriti and they try to destroy our constitution. He said will create awareness among SC, ST and OBC regarding reservation which is fundamental right.
Ponda MLA Ravi Naik criticised the government for neglecting and opposing SC, ST and BC communities. He recalled why the reservation was made in the constitution. He said all Bahujan Samaj should unitedly oppose it.
Former MLA Dharma Chodankar, media cell convenor Trajano D'Mello, vice president M K Shaikh, general secretary Urfan Mulla, member Rajan Ghate, Youth Congress president Varad Mardolkar, Mahila Congress president Pratima Coutinho, Michael Ferns and other spoke.
The speakers alleged that the BJP was deliberately neglecting the constitutional rights of SC,ST and OBC communities. They said that the BJP's anti-reservation was exposed when the Uttarakhand government argued against giving government jobs as per reservation policy to candidates belonging to reserved category.