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Published On: Mon, Jan 7th, 2019

Modi Govt.Announces 10% reservation “JUMLA” for upper castes months before elections

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MODI-07NEW DELHI : In a major decision months before general elections, the Union Cabinet on Monday approved 10% reservation for economically backward upper castes. The timing of the announcement before the 2019 General Elections could play a big role in favor of the Narendra Modi government. Experts say the NDA government has played its biggest electoral card since its formation in 2014.

The government will move a constitutional amendment bill tomorrow to push for 10% extra reservation for economically deprived sections among general categories. The BJP’s parent organisation the RSS has always maintained that reservation should be along economic lines and not only along caste lines.

“Reservations are meant to correct historical injustice to Dalits. For poverty alleviation, one may run various schemes but reservations are meant for justice. Constitution doesn’t permit reservations on economic grounds,” says AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi. Senior Congress leader Abishek Manu Sanghvi calls the 10 per cent reservation announcement a “poll gimmick”.

Amend the law before the Lok Sabha polls, we will support it, says Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.
‘Bohot der kar di meherbaan aate aate (Its too late now),’ says Congress leader Harish Rawat.The proposal to give 10 per cent reservation to the economically weaker upper castes is nothing more than a jumla.
“It was this government only that denied reservation for various different castes citing more than 50 per cent reservation can’t be given. How will they do it? It is their new ‘jumla’ after ‘Rs 15 lakh’, and promises of jobs to crores of people,” says Hardik Patel. “Is it like all the previous ‘jumlas’? They just want to attract upper caste votes and people who had diverted towards the Congress in the recent elections. I can say that it is just a jumla before the Lok Sabha elections,” Patidar leader Hardik Patel.

Those who will be excluded are: More than 5 acre land(2) Residential plot more thanb 1000 sq feet
(3) Plot more than 100 sq yard in notified municipality (4) Plot more than 200 yards in non notified areas So who is eligible for this 10 per cent quota for the economically upper class section people?

Those who will not be eligible for the reservation should not have land beyond 5 acres in their name; should not own plot 1,000 square yard; should not own 200 yards in non-notified areas; and should not have annual income of over Rs 8 lakh.Reservation approved in govt jobs and education.

“This is a joke with people. They know there can’t be more than 50 per cent reservation, so they we want to bring it so that they can say look we want to bring the bill but the court is not allowing us. This is only to start the blame game. The question is either we should have criteria on the basis of caste or it should be on the economic bases,” Rajya Sabha member KTS Tulsi told  Journalists. .

In Indra Sawhney vs Union of India, 1992, the court capped caste-based reservation at 50%, ruling that “no provision of reservation or preference can be so vigorously pursued as to destroy the very concept of equality”.As of now, the government has 27% reservation for backward classes whereas 16 percent reservation is for Scheduled caste and scheduled tribes. The total reservation is for 49% at the moment and if a 10% reservation would be given to the upper caste poor, then the total would be taken to 59%.

Amiben Yagnik, Congress Leader, told  “The announcement is coming just before the Lok Sabha Elections, so we will have to look into how this has been done. This government is not serious about the people’s issue. If it was the case, this government would have done something on the Women Reservation Bill.
The government would move a constitutional amendment bill to bring it into effect. The mega move, just months before the national election, was approved in a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. The constitutional amendment bill is likely to be moved tomorrow.

Those who earn less than Rs. 8 lakh a year, have less than five acre land qualify for the quota, said Union Minister Vijay Sampla. Jobs are already reserved for impoverished and disadvantaged lower castes. The criteria for economic quota will be the same as that for Other Backward Castes or OBCs.

“This was a long-standing demand but only the Modi government had the courage to do it. Brahmins, baniyas, Christians, Muslims, all will benefit from this,” Vijay Sampla said.
The minister said the decision should not be seen as political as it is “the government’s duty to understand the feelings of the people and fulfil their needs”.

The government’s big move comes at a time the ruling BJP is seen by many to have lost its invincibility after its election defeats to the Congress in three major heartland states. Sources say the bill has to be a constitutional amendment as it overshoots the Supreme Court’s 50 per cent cap on quotas and takes the total to 60 per cent. Any increase from that limit will be subject to judicial scrutiny and is unlikely to get parliamentary approval immediately.
The government, however, wants to make a distinction between economic and social reservation. The Supreme Court’s limit is for social reservation, say sources. It may be legally complicated but the move serves the purpose of telegraphing the government’s commitment to the general population that does not have reservations, sources said. The Congress alleged an election gimmick. “We will continue to support every such step that provides employment. ” said the party’s Randeep Surjewala. “We welcome reservation in jobs, but when will you create jobs?”
In a 1992 order, the Supreme Court had capped reservations in government jobs and education at 50 per cent. But in an order in July 2010, it allowed states to exceed that limit if they had solid scientific data to justify the increase. Former union minister Yashwant Sinha, who recently quit the BJP, called the move a “jumla” and tweeted: “…the proposal is bristling with legal complications and there is no time for getting it passed through both houses of parliament. Government stands completely exposed.”(With Agency Inputs ).

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