Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to convene both Houses of Parliament to take decisions on enabling OBCs to enjoy the privilege of reservation from the coming academic year.
In identical letters to them, Karunanidhi said the people of Tamil Nadu, cutting across partylines were greatly upset over the Supreme Court stay on 27 per cent reservation provided for OBCs in educational institutions.
"They look upon the government of India to come to their rescue and protect their right of reservation. I kindly request you that both Houses of Parliament may be immediately convened to take decisions so that the OBCs are enabled to enjoy the privilege of reservation from the coming academic year," he said.
He had also attached a copy of the resolution, unanimously passed by the state Assembly on Friday.
The resolution said the Supreme Court order had caused a "setback to the social and educational advancement of the oppressed classes and affected the right of Parliament. Therefore, both Houses of Parliament should be convened immediately to discuss and take appropriate decisions so that there is no reversal to the backward classes, living in the lower rungs of the society."
Karunanidhi said Tamil Nadu was the "birthplace of social justice, reservation of seats in educational institutions and in government services for the backward classes, most backward classes, denotified communities, scheduled castes and tribes for several decades."
He said it was only following the request of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government that the then prime minister V P Singh came forward to implement the recommendations of the Mandal Commission.
"We have been demanding reservation in educational institutions, controlled or financed by the government of India. Finally a suitable law was enacted by the UPA government, which came as a boon to OBCs all over India. The people of Tamil Nadu, cutting across party lines, are greatly upset over the stay given by the Supreme Court on March 29, 2007," he said.
The DMK and its allies had called for a bandh in Tamil Nadu on Saturday protesting the "deprivation of quota" to OBCs.
Though the AIADMK had not spelt its stand on the issue, almost all parties are likely to support the bandh call as their views are common on the reservation issue.
Karunanidhi appealed to his partymen to make the bandh successful. Writing in the party mouthpiece Murasoli, he said the denial of reservation to OBCs was an act of wounding the sentiments of crores of Indians.
While a nine-member constitutional bench of the Supreme Court had upheld the 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in government services, a two-member bench of the court had stayed the reservation in educational institutions, which was contradictory, he said.
The Centre and legal experts should ponder over whether the stay given by the two-member bench was legally valid, he said.