In a major development that may have a huge bearing on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Narendra Modi government on Monday approved 10 per cent reservation in jobs for the economically weaker sections in the upper castes (general category). The reservation to the economically weaker sections of the general castes will be given after a constitutional amendment.
As per the Supreme Court order, only 50 per cent reservation can be granted. Currently, the reservation is provided on the basis of caste. However, the Modi government has decided to increase the reservation quota from the existing 50 per cent to 60 per cent. The reservation for economically backward in general category will be over and above the existing 50 pc reservation.
The decision to provide reservation in jobs to economically weaker sections was taken during a Cabinet meeting headed by the prime minister. Sources said that the government has already prepared the draft of the Bill which will be introduced in Parliament tomorrow. The Winter Session of Parliament will end tomorrow.
The decision, which comes less than three months before the Lok Sabha elections, is considered to be a game changer and may have a huge bearing on polls. A section of people has long been demanding reservation based on the economic condition in place of the current caste-based system.
The move will also help the government to deal with the growing demands by several communities that they be shifted to other backward classes (OBCs) in order to get reservations in jobs and education. Currently, the OBCs have 27 per cent reservation in government jobs and education.
Congress terms move an election gimmick
Reacting to the development, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi termed the move an election gimmick months before the model code of conduct. The Congress leader said that the government cannot exceed the existing 50 per cent maximum limit,neither it had the majority for the constitutional amendments.
"See last two tweets are reservation for forwards? Question — Did you not think of this for 4 years and 8 months? So obviously thought of as election gimmick 3 months before model code! You know you cannot exceed 50% maximum so it is done only to posture tht you tried unconstitutional thing. Do you have a majority," he said.
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#NNPoll | Do you think the reservation for economically weaker sections from upper castes will be a game changer for the BJP ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls?— News Nation (@NewsNationTV) January 7, 2019