The Bihar Post

On sticky wicket, Nitish bats for reservation in private sector too, Lalu ridicules

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PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today advocated for reservation in the private sector too—a move which has drawn disdain from his arch-rival, RJD chief Lalu Prasad.

“I and my party have been supportive to the idea of reservation in private sector from the beginning. But it’s not easy. For it to happen, there should be a consensus,” he was quoted as saying by news18.com.

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He though added it was his personal opinion. “It is our personal opinion that existing provisions of reservation should be extended in private sector also. But there should be a debate on the issue at national level. Final decision on the issue will be taken by Parliament,” Nitish Kumar was quoted by The Times Of India.

“If you’re using government money and giving employment, then you have to follow the Reservation Act of the state,” the chief minister added.

Speaking about the reservations in outsourcing, he said: “Although I am opposed to outsourcing, and the department should hire directly, we have made rules that if we are employing someone through outsourcing, then reservation policies should be followed.”

Kumar’s friend-turned-political foe, Prasad supported Nitish Kumar over the issue but described it as mere “political stunt”.

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“Nitish must tell us about private investment in Bihar. He has completely failed in bringing private companies and now talking about reservation in private sector. Not only me, LJP leader Ramvilas Paswan is also in favour of this. It’s our stand for a long time,” the RJD chief told news18.com.

Last week, the Nitish Kumar government in a politically significant move had approved reservation in contractual appointments to be made by the government through outsourcing.

“The state cabinet today approved reservation in contract appointments to be made through outsourcing,” Bihar cabinet secretary Brajesh Mehrotra told media after the meeting.

Reservation will be applied in appointments of doctors, engineers, teachers and other posts on contractual basis, authorities said.

As per reports, at presently, around 10,000 outsourced staff members—mostly from technical and engineering fields— are working in various state government departments.

Nitish Kumar, of late, has been on sticky wicket over the way his own party men have been attacking the government for ignoring the dalits reservation and the BJP trying to encroach into the JD-U vote-bank.

Add to this, a section of his party led by Sharad Yadav has revolted against Nitish Kumar for betraying the people’s mandate and joining hands with the BJP.

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