Over 1,65,000 Uttarakhand government employees will be going on an indefinite strike from 2 March. The protesting employees are demanding promotions in various departments as per Supreme Court (SC) directions.
In early February, the SC had directed that state governments cannot be ordered to provide reservation in promotion. It had been reiterated by the SC that promotion in public posts cannot be claimed as a fundamental right. It had said in its verdict that no mandamus can be issued by the court directing any state government to provide reservations. If at all a State goes ahead and uses its discretion in making reservation in promotions, it will have to first present quantifiable data to prove that the class or community in question is inadequately represented in public services.
The strike will also have about 30,000 employees from critical public services, such as health and water participating from 5 March.
According to the Uttarakhand General-OBC Employees Association, the demand is that the state government should not provide any reservation when it comes to promotions, and there should be recruitment only on the basis of merit, upholding the directions given by the SC.
Over 8000 employees are reportedly awaiting promotions across state government departments.
Following rumours that SC/ST employees association of Uttar Pradesh will also be involved in the strike, a warning has been issued that interference from outside will not be acceptable.