The Sarvajan Hitay Sanrakshan Samiti, an umbrella association of more than 18 lakh employees of general and OBC categories, on Sunday decided to launch a statewide «civil disobedience» campaign in which they would refuse to work under SC/ST officials promoted on the basis of caste. The decision, taken at the samiti’s meeting held in Lucknow, may lead to administrative crisis.
SHSS president Shailendra Dubey said the samiti had decided to put up stickers and banners in government offices asking members not to work under their junior counterparts from the SC/ST category. «The Centre will be responsible for the anarchy that will ensue because of this,» Dubey told TOI. «The employees have decided to abide by merit and not by caste,» he added.
The call comes days after the employees went on a strike against tabling of the controversial bill in Parliament. The strike, apparently backed by the ruling Samajwadi Party in the state, not only caused a revenue loss running into thousands of crores, but also saw employees attacking the offices of the political parties, especially those of the Congress and the BJP.
The call of launching a «civil disobedience campaign» comes close on the heels of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav announcement of stalling the bill in the Lok Sabha, whenever it is convened. The bill, that will pave the way for 117th constitutional amendment, will have to be ratified by at least half of the state legislatures by a majority of not less 2/3 of the members present and voting. The employees are aware of the fact that once that is done, the amendment will apply in all states, including UP even if the SP rejects it.
Dubey said the samiti would soon constitute tehsils, districts and divisional-level committees to spread awareness about the «ill-effects» of the quota bill. «The malicious design of the Congress and the BJP to divide society on caste lines will be exposed before people,» he said.