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Govt will take all measures to get SC stay vacated: Arjun Singh

Source: PTI
March 31, 2007 23:23 IST
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The government will take all Constitutional measures to get the Supreme Court stay on the OBC quota in elite educational institutions vacated, Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh said on Saturday night.

"Supreme Court has not rejected anything... We will take all Constitutional measures to vacate the stay", Singh told PTI adding that Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam will be meeting him to discuss the issue.

The senior leader, however, made it clear that the Congress-led coalition did not want any confrontation with the Apex Court and it was the right of the Court to interpret law.

Making clear the Government's intention to provide equity in access to higher education, he said an all-party meeting would be convened by the Prime Minister after the SAARC summit to deliberate on the pros and cons of the issue.

"Unless all parties are on board, nothing can be done", he said.

When asked whether there were plans to restart the whole process as there has been no caste-based census since 1931, Singh said all these issues will have to be decided by the all-party meeting.

He suggested that such a meeting would be held after consultations within the ruling UPA and with the key outside supporter Left parties.

"That is the kind of language I do not use. No condemnation is called for... It is part of their duty", he said when asked whether he agreed with the Left view that the Supreme Court order was a "retrograde" one.

He noted that the amendment of the Constitution to promote several social issues like abolition of zamindari system had taken place right from 1950 when the Constitution was enforced. "We had an election on abolition of privy purses."

Singh dismissed as a "very, very subjective view", the charge that the quota issue has "divided" the nation. He suggested that such broad issues should not be considered in a narrow way.

"I don't foresee a problem and if there is a problem. It has to be addressed. You cannot shut your eyes to it".

The HRD minister rejected as a "canard" that Congress was not enthuisatic in pursuing the issue.

"The party is backing the entire thing totally", he said.

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