Bhubaneswar: Opposition Congress put 40 SC and ST MLAs of the ruling BJD in a fix in the state Assembly by suddenly demanding division of vote at the introduction stage of a bill for reservation to SC and ST in government jobs. The opposition Congress raised objection to the Odisha Reservation of Vacancies in Posts and Services (for SC and ST) Amendment Bill, 2013, by claiming that it lacked provision of carrying forward the reservation of posts in case suitable candidates were not found and reservation of posts in the contractual appointments.
"Though there are strict guidelines for carrying forward posts and making reservation in contractual appointments in government services, the present Bill has no such provision. It has no provision regarding promotion of ST employees," Congress member Chakradhar Paik said.
As Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat went ahead, the opposition all of a sudden demanded division of votes at the introduction stage of the amendment Bill, popularly known as ORV Act. The opposition, however, lost in the vote division by securing only 23 votes against 77 votes supporting introduction of the Bill, which was later sent to the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of the Assembly for fixation of time and date for consideration.
Paik claimed that though the Congress lost in the division of votes, the ST & SC MLAs of BJD had been exposed. "They supported the Bill which did not have a provision to protect the interests of adivasis and dalits," Paik, a bureaucrat-turned-politician, said. Of the 40 BJD MLAs, 21 belong to SC and the rest to ST.