LJP to Congress: Clear stand on National Green Tribunal chief

The Asian Age.

India, All India

Paswan had asked the government to take a decision on Justice Goel’s removal before August 9.

Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan and Chirag Paswan (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) on Monday asked the Congress to clear its stand on demands made by several parties to remove National Green Tribunal chairman Justice A.K. Goel for giving the March 29 judgment that “diluted” the SC/ST Act.

LJP leader Chirag Paswan targeted the Congress after its leader and former law minister Ashwani Kumar reportedly said that the demand to remove Justice Goel cannot be justified.

Targeting Congress president Rahul Gandhi who often seeks to corner the government by raising dalit matters, Mr Paswan said, “Mr Gandhi must clear his stand on the issue. Do you support the demand to dismiss Justice Goel or not.”

Mr Paswan had last week asked the Modi government to sack Justice Goel and take measures to restore the stringent provisions of the SC/ST law by August 8. He had asked the government to take a decision on Justice Goel’s removal  before August 9.

On Monday, his tone lacked the aggression as he claimed that his party had no conflict with the Union government. He said that he was yet to hear from the government on the deadline set by his party as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had just returned from a foreign trip.

The government has often met our demands, he said, citing his party’s move in the Supreme Court for resuming quota for dalits and tribals in promotion and stay on an UGC directive which had reduced the number of reserved seats in universities and college.

Several parties, including BJP allies like LJP and the JD(U), and Union ministers Upendra Kushwaha and Ramdas Athawale, besides the saffron party’s dalit MPs like Udit Raj, have backed the call to remove Justice Goel.

Dalit groups have given a call for “Bharat Bandh” on August 9 in support of a number of their demands, including a legislation to negate the apex courts verdict that allegedly diluted the SC/ST Act.