Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati on Tuesday welcomed and endorsed the Narendra Modi government’s decision to introduce reservation for economically poor classes irrespective of caste. However, Mayawati said that the move seems like an election stunt as it could have come earlier. The BSP chief also demanded review of 50 percent cap on quota for OBC/SC/ST.
“It has been my long standing demanding and I welcome Centre’s move to propose reservation for the economically backward classes belonging to the upper caste,” Mayawati told reporters on Tuesday.
Echoing the views of other Opposition parties like, the Congress and the Left, Mayawati welcomed the move but with riders. “The decision could have come earlier. This seems like a election stunt,” the BSP supremo said. The Congress on Monday frowned at the intention behind the Modi government approving 10 percent quota for the “unreserved categories” and demanded to know “where are the jobs”.
Addressing the media after the cabinet approved 10 per cent reservation for economically backward people in general category in jobs and educational institutions, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the decision reeked of “political motive” rather than the actual welfare of the masses.
“India is on verge of the worst job crisis of the century with unemployment at a high of 7.3 percent which is the highest in last 23-24 months. The demonetisation disaster and the flawed implementation of GST resulted in crores of job losses.
“Moreover, the Modi government admitted in Parliament that 24 lakh posts in government sectors are lying vacant which the government has failed to fill up in last 4.5 years,” said Surjewala.
“While we welcome the decision to offer reservation to economically weaker classes, but the question that arises is where are the jobs. The government after destroying millions of jobs, with the next elections just 100 days away, has suddenly woken up and offering reservation without creating any jobs.
“Without creating jobs, reservation for the upper castes will turn out to be a ‘jumla’ (false promise) for the elections,” said Surjewala. He also demanded to know the government’s road-map, if any, for creation of jobs as well as recouping the jobs lost and destroyed by the “demonetisation disaster” and “flawed GST”
With the Modi government likely to bring Constitutional amendment bill on quotas for economically weaker sections in Parliament on Tuesday, Surjewala affirmed the Congress’ support.
“We are ideologically opposed to the BJP and they have personal animosity towards the Congress but we support steps for reserving seats in education and employment for economically weaker sections irrespective of caste,” said Surjewala. “The question that remains is where are the jobs”.
On Monday, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “The Supreme Court has said that in the current constitutional architecture, no reservation can be given to non-educational and socially backward class, even if they are poor. We are coming up with constitutional amendment as a separate constitutional platform for economically weaker section of the community. Therefore it is a constitutional amendment and not a legal amendment.”
Tewari had said that a similar attempt was made by PV Narasimha Rao government in 1991, but the Supreme Court struck it down on constitutional grounds.