In the light of the recent Supreme Court judgement on reservation and promotions, and the government’s reaction to it, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) President Chirag Paswan has reiterated the need for an Indian Judicial Service sensitive to the needs of the SC/ST and OBC communities.
The government has not yet filed a review petition or issued an ordinance to correct the Supreme Court’s February 8 judgement which said reservation in promotion in public posts can’t be claimed as fundamental right. Isn’t the delay irking you?
I believe in our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. When a similar judgement came last time diluting the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act of 2018, the Parliament session was extended for another day and the status quo was maintained by law. So I believe the government will once again step in. Minister for Social Justice Thawarchand Gehlot has pro-actively placed a statement in Parliament which reflects that the national government is working towards taking a corrective measure.
Isn’t there a systematic flaw if repeatedly such judgements comes and the government is founding wanting in opposing it?
Yes, there is a problem. The bigger problem lies with the judiciary itself. The Lok Janshakti Party has been demanding the setting up of an Indian Judicial Service. Such judgements reflect that the courts don’t relate to problems of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. They just don’t realise the significance of reservation.
There is hardly any representation from these communities in the higher judiciary. An Indian Judicial Service, with reservation for SC/ST, is the only way out. The government, too, should have been more pro-active in intervening when such cases are being heard. I also demand that reservation and laws concerning SC/ST/OBC should be put in Schedule 9 of the Indian Constitution, so that these become non-negotiable.
You have repeatedly demanded an NDA co-ordination committee to keep allies in the loop, but the BJP is not listening to you. How important is such a committee?
A co-ordination committee could make things between the allies more cordial and easier. Mr. Amit Shah was handling two posts, being the National President of BJP and Home Minister; I understand how busy he was. So to coordinate between all members of NDA wasn’t very easy. At times we had communication gap which led to few nuisances.
Now with Mr J.P. Nadda taking over the role of BJP President, we have seen improvement in coordination, like what we saw in Delhi Assembly elections. Things are moving in the right direction.
Will the Delhi results have any impact on Bihar Assembly polls?
Not at all. In fact, I find it very funny the way senior Congress leaders are cheering Aam Aadmi Party while their own party has been wiped out. One regional party, in one particular State defeating the BJP can’t be extrapolated to other States. Bihar will be fought on Bihar’s own issues. And this time I am confident that the NDA alliance will perform very well.
The LJP soon will be coming up with a vision document- “Bihar First, Bihari First”. Can you elaborate on it?
The LJP is coming out with a vision document for the first time. It will lay down the roadmap to improve the condition of Bihar. We will release it well in time for the elections. It has been a matter of concern for me that parties procrastinate and release their manifesto on the eve of elections without giving the voters enough time to study and understand what a certain party stands for. On April 14 we will release the document.
The LJP had supported the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Have you revised your position on it considering widespread protests?
No. It was a well thought-out decision to support the CAA. Opposition is spreading a rumour that it’s anti-Muslim, which is absolutely false. The act doesn’t concern any citizen of this country. I agree with the protest against National Register for Citizens (NRC), but our PM has already clarified that it’s not on the table. In fact, it was the Congress who linked the NRC with National Population Register first.
How can you protest in anticipation that NRC will be linked to CAA? As far as NPR is concerned, me and my father Ram Vilas Paswan had met Home Minister Amit Shah and he said categorically that none of the information that NPR form will ask is mandatory. And baseless rumour is floated that if a citizen doesn’t furnish details he or she will be put in “doubtful” list.