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PM discusses quota issue with Ramadoss
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August 04, 2006 16:35 IST

Continuing his efforts to build a consensus on the implementation of OBC reservation in elite educational institutions, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] on Friday held consultations with Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, whose party Pattali Makkal Katchi wants its immediate implementation.

Advocating a 'one-go' rollout of reservation, Ramadoss told Dr Singh that students belonging to OBC category have waited enough to get access to higher education.

They could be accommodated in the existing facilities and as and when infrastructure improves, students from unreserved categories could be given seats.

"The PMK even asked for bringing an ordinance to implement the process," Ramadoss said after the meeting in which United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi [Images] and Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee were present.

The minister said his party was also against exclusion of creamy layer from the proposed reservation.

The prime minister received a boost on Thursday when he had received support from Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav when he said his party would support the government in "whatever decision it takes on the issue".

"We are committed to reservation. Let us first finalise all this," Lalu had said when asked whether his party would agree to a staggered implementation as suggested by the Oversight Committee headed by Veerappa Moily.

RJD, along with the Left, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and PMK, wanted the government to bring a bill in this regard in the current session of Parliament.

The government had indicated it would talk to various political parties on passage of the bill for which a political consensus already exists.

The consultations assume significance as it happened a day after a meeting of Cabinet ministers convened by the prime minister failed to evolve a consensus on the roadmap for implementing the quota.

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