New Delhi, Dec 12 (IANS) With the Modi government hinting at the end of the Constitutional provisions for nominating Anglo-Indians to the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies, Trinamool Congress MP and also a member of the community Derek O’Brien made a blistering attack on the government.
He challenged Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad over the total headcount of the community in the country.
While putting the total number of Anglo-Indians at over 3 lakh as against 297 quoted by the Minister while introducing the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty sixth Amendment) Bill, the Trinamool MP questioned why the bill had excluded one community.
The legislator asked how had the government mentioned the number of Anglo-Indians as zero in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh while three MLAs were nominated over the last three years in the state assemblies of these states.
“I want to challenge BJP. How did they nominate the Anglo-Indian MLAs there in the last three years,” O’Brien said.
He noted that he was the only Anglo-Indian elected in 72 years and not nominated, crediting it to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Speaking on the Constitutional Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha, the TMC MP said what was in the bill was good but questioned if what was left out was devious or deceitful.
“Please don’t pit minorities versus minorities,” he said.
The TMC leader said that he would support extending reservation for SCs and STs for another 10 years, 20 years or even 30 years but questioned the delay in approval of a SC/ST Commission in West Bengal.
“You are doing all this here but in Bengal for the last one week, you are humiliating the SCs and the STs because we are wanting to pass in the assembly a SC/ST Commission bill, the highest Constitutional authority has not signed on the bill,” the TMC leader said.
As per the Constitution, two members of the Anglo-Indian community are to be nominated to the Lok Sabha and one each to the legislative assemblies of the states.