Bengaluru: Raising questions about the timing on the Centre’s move to provide 10 per cent quota in government jobs and education for economically weaker sections, Congress General Secretary K C Venugopal on Tuesday, January 8 termed it as lollipop to the people of the country.
Also demanding a joint parliamentary committee to investigate alleged irregularities in the Rafale deal, the Congress MP from Kerala said, Rafale scam will be a major issue during the parliament polls.
“Government of India has announced reservation, it is good, we welcome it..but at the last minute, after ruling the country for four-and-half years you are giving this lollipop to the people of this country, now,” Venugopal said.
“We are not opposing, we are supporting, but we are saying they should have brought it a bit earlier, because they are bringing ahead of election.
To implement this a constitutional amendment is required, it has to be passed with a two-thirds majority in the parliament, it also has to be passed by at least ten assemblies, where is the time for it now?” he asked.
In a major move ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Union Cabinet Monday had cleared a 10 per cent quota in government jobs and education for “economically weaker” sections, meeting a key demand of upper castes, a staunch BJP support base which has shown signs of a drift from the party.
A constitutional amendment bill in this regard was also tabled in the parliament on Tuesday.
Pointing out that reservation for economically backward was mentioned in the Congress manifesto during the previous parliament polls, Venugopal said, “but we did not get majority.”
Hitting out at the Modi government on the Rafale deal, he charged that Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s pertinent questions on the issue had been unanswered by the government, and the Defence Minister gave “incorrect” statement in the House.
“This is a clear case of corruption; we are seeking JPC to inquire into it..they (BJP) don’t want JPC because they are frightened about some of the files in the Defence Ministry,” he added.
Pointing out that the Prime Minister calls himself “chowkidar”, the Congress leader said, “but people are now asking questions about the transparency of “chowkidar.” He said the Congress will not leave the Rafale issue and added it will be major issue during the Lok Sabha polls, because the Centre has cheated the people of Karnataka, the HAL, and youngsters of this country.
“We will not leave this issue, we will go to the people and tell them about it,” he added.
Venugopal termed it as a “direct slap” on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s face while referring to the Supreme Court verdict Tuesdayreinstating Alok Kumar Verma as CBI Director and setting aside the Centre’s decision divesting him of his powers and sending him on leave.
Modi had last month accused the Congress of misleading farmers on loan waivers, saying its governments had handed out lollipops instead of what was promised.