Mayawati criticises UPA for ignoring private sector quota

June 5th, 2009 - 9:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Lucknow, June 5 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Friday criticised the Manmohan Singh government for remaining silent on the issue of quotas for Dalits in the private sector in President Pratibha Patil’s address to the joint sitting of parliament Thursday.
In a statement read out on her behalf by cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh here, Mayawati asked why the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government “had not cared to pay any heed to the much needed job quota for Dalits in the private sector”.

“In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, I had raised the demand for reservations, not only in the private sector but also in judiciary,” she said, adding: “I would like to once again reiterate my demand and urge the central government not to ignore the issue any more.”

Terming the UPA government’s approach towards Dalits and other downtrodden members of society as “wishy-washy”, she called upon the new regime “to do something concrete for the well-being of Dalits, socially backward sections and Muslim minorities.”

She also assailed the UPA’s loan waiver scheme, alleging it had only benefited big farmers.

“Since the waiver was applicable only to banks, it was natural that the benefit would accrue only to those who had taken loans from banks; what seems to have been ignored that the immediate financial needs of small farmers are usually met by local village level money-lenders who continue to exploit them,” she said, adding it was high time the government initiated steps to bring an end to the exploitation of these small farmers at the hands of money-lenders.

She also termed the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) “just another gimmick” and said if the UPA government was truly bothered about ensuring employment for the poor and the needy, it should have worked out some scheme to insure employment for all 365 days of the year.

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