Leaders from across the political spectrum have reacted after the Union Cabinet on Monday announced 10 per cent reservation for economically backward upper castes. While some politicians have welcomed the decision, others asserted it was just another 'jumla' and called it a mere political stunt.
The decision is likely to invoke strong reactions from Dalit leaders and opposition parties such as the Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party and the Left parties.
Reacting to the quota move, the Congress party termed it a "poll gimmick" and questioned how the government was planning to manage the numbers for the same since the Supreme Court had placed a 50 per cent limit on quotas. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi Tweeted why the government waited four years and eight months to announce the move.
Gujarat's Patidar leader Hardik Patel asserted that this was the "last arrow in the PM's quiver". "If this is a 'lollipop' given to the people then that will be wrong and if the Modi government fails to implement the mandate properly then he is bound to get the people's reply in the elections," Patel told media adding that a constitutional amendment is central to the decision and will be the "main step."
The government will move a constitutional amendment bill tomorrow to push for extra reservation. Delhi CM and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal dared the government to bring an amendment bill in Parliament. He said that he would support the move. Otherwise, this will be exposed as a mere political stunt, Kejriwal tweeted.Also read: Cabinet announces 10% reservation for economically weaker upper castes
Former Finance Minister and Yaswant Sinha said the proposal would face hurdles, calling it a 'jumla'. "It is bristling with legal complications and there is no time for getting it passed thru both Houses of Parliament. Govt stands completely exposed," he wrote on Twitter.
Former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah linked the reservation announcement with the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. "Reservation for economically backward upper castes. The bugle announcing the elections has well & truly sounded," he said.
Congress leader Harish Rawat told ANI that the government had "taken a lot of time for this generosity, and that also when elections are around the corner". "No matter what they do, what gimmicks they give, nothing is going to save this government," he said.