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SP swims against tide, gifts Cong a straw

New Delhi, May 6: Samajwadi Party members today demanded that the recommendations of the Sachar committee be implemented, arousing curiosity as their “out of the blue” protest swerved off the wider clamour in Parliament for the resignations of two embattled ministers.

The MPs stormed into the well of the Lok Sabha as their party boss, Mulayam Singh Yadav, egged them on to raise the issue of reservation for minorities in government jobs.

The demand for implementing the suggestions of the Sachar committee, which had highlighted the economic plight of Muslims in India, came days after Mulayam had lashed out at a “cowardly” UPA for not letting the army push back Chinese intruders in Ladakh.

Sources said giving up the Chinese incursion plank was understandable, since the dispute had been resolved, but bringing up the Sachar panel’s recommendations raised eyebrows as the issue had not been on Parliament’s agenda in the ongoing session.

“Mulayam is known for rescuing the Congress whenever it lands in trouble. Today, when most of the parties clamoured for the railway minister’s and the law minister’s resignations, he tried to shift focus by raising the Sachar issue out of the blue,” said a CPM MP.

While the MPs of the BJP, Left and some other parties slammed the government for shielding Ashwani Kumar and Pawan Bansal, the Samajwadi members were heard shouting: “Sachar committee lagu karo” (implement the recommendations of the Sachar commission).

Mulayam, whose party offers outside support to the UPA government, stood at his place, asking his MPs to raise the issue vociferously.

Speaking to reporters outside the House, Mulayam denied he was trying to shift the focus from the demand for the resignations of the two under-fire ministers, Kumar and Bansal.

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said his MPs had brought up an issue pertinent to Muslims. “The Prime Minister had promised that his government would act on the recommendations of the Sachar commission and the Ranganath Mishra commission on the plight of Muslims. We are reminding the government about the promise and asking it to implement the recommendations without any delay.”

Asked if his party had given up the China incursion issue, Mulayam said he had warned the government against trusting China. “China can never be trusted. I don’t believe their troops have gone back,” the Samajwadi chief said.

The Samajwadi and fellow heartland outfit BSP extend crucial outside support to the UPA and have come to the rescue of the government many times.

Today, the Samajwadis didn’t bother to raise the graft controversy that has embroiled railway minister Bansal’s nephew and came to the government’s aid as it tried to push the food security legislation amid the din in the House.

BSP members sat quietly, equally detached from the issues being raised by other parties, to the relief of the UPA managers.