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Parties should come together to discuss SC/ST Act: Sumitra Mahajan

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Will reservation bring welfare, asks Sumitra Mahajan
Image Courtesy: The Indian Express

Amid widespread anger, including calls of ‘Bharat bandh’, against the amendment to the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan Thursday said all political parties should get together to discuss the issue.

A Bharat bandh was called Thursday by some anti-reservation bodies against the amendment to the Act last month.

The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha had, on August 6 and August 9 respectively, passed the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill to overturn a Supreme Court order concerning certain safeguards against arrest under this Act.

Speaking at a programme of Bhartiya Janata Party’s (BJP) traders cell meet, Mahajan said the issue must not be politicised because all parties had voted in favour of maintaining the basic structure of the Act.

“The Parliament’s work is to enact laws but all MPs should think on this subject (amendments made in the SC/ST Act). It is the responsibility of all the people in society to create a proper environment for this discussion,” she said.

Explaining her point, the Lok Sabha Speaker said, “Suppose if I give a big chocolate to my son and I later realise that it is not good for him to have so much of it at one go, one will try to take back the chocolate from the child. But you cannot take it as he will get angry and start crying”.

“But some sensible person can make the child understand and take back the chocolate from him,” she said.

“If anybody immediately tries to snatch anything given to a person, there may be an explosion,” Mahajan claimed.

She stressed on the need for discussions regarding relevant legal changes.

“The prevailing social situation is not correct. If injustice was done earlier with a section (of society), it does not mean that injustice should be done with other sections to settle score,” she said.

The BJP leader said justice must be done with everybody and this could be achieved only by explaining it to people.

“Everyone should also feel that there should be no atrocity against the deprived castes,” the Lok Sabha Speaker added.