The BJP government at the Centre has tabled the bill to provide reservation for the economically weaker sections from upper castes in the Lok Sabha. The bill, tipped to be Modi government's masterstroke to woo voters before the General Elections, seeks to provide reservation for poor people from the upper castes in all central government and educational institutions jobs. The bill does not cover people from the Muslim and Christian communities.
While the Opposition has brushed the BJP's push for quota in upper castes aside by calling it 'mere jumla', the saffron party has said it wants to pass the amendment bill in Parliament, which will benefit people, not on the basis of caste but economic conditions. To provide reservation for the upper castes, the government has to amend the Article 15 and 16 of the Constitution. The proposed quota bill will require the government to amend the constitution, for which it requires the support of the two-third members in both the Houses.
In a surprise announcement on Monday, the Union Cabinet had declared 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker upper castes. The timing of the announcement before the 2019 General Elections could play a big role in favour of the Narendra Modi government, say analysts. But the Opposition parties have said it's just a poll gimmick.
Those who have been excluded from the reservation in general category are those who own more than 5-acre land; residential plot more than 1,000 sq feet; plot more than 100 sq yard in a notified municipality; or plot more than 200 yards in non-notified areas.
Reacting to the quota move, the Congress party 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 asked why the government waited four years and eight months to announce the move?
Delhi CM and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal also dared the government to bring an amendment bill in Parliament. He added his party would support the move. Otherwise, this will be exposed as a mere political stunt, Kejriwal said.
Dalit leader and BSP chief Mayawati said the Union Cabinet's decision to provide 10 per cent reservation in education and government jobs to the economically weaker sections was an "election stunt and political gimmick" ahead of Lok Sabha polls. "It would have been better had the BJP taken the decision much earlier... The government is now on its way out," she claimed, quoted PTI.
Edited by Manoj Sharma