The Union Cabinet has reportedly approved a 10 per cent reservation for ‘economically backward’ upper castes in government jobs.
Ahead of the General Elections this year, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced reservation in jobs for those belonging to the upper castes and earning less than Rs 8 lakh per year, sources said.
A bill to amend Article 15 and 16 of the constitution will be moved in Parliament to this effect. The Supreme Court has capped the quota for caste-based reservation for government jobs at 50 per cent.
BJP vice-president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe described the reservation for upper castes as a step to widen the social justice net.
“Congratulations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the historic decision of extending job quotas for economically weaker sections. A commendable step widening the social justice net and underscoring the inclusive approach of the government,” he said.
BJP general secretary Kailash Vijaywargiya said the decision has opened a new chapter in the history of social change.
Applauding Modi for the decision, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and BJP’s ally RPI(Athawale) leader Ramdas Athawale described the decision as a masterstroke which could end the difference between the upper and lower caste.
“The issue of reservation caused a lot of conflict between Dalits and Savarnas. My demand has always been for 25 per cent reservation for the upper caste poor, 10 per cent is a good initiative. It is a masterstroke and Modi is a strong batsman,” Athawale, who is a Dalit leader from Maharashtra, said.
Another BJP ally and LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan also welcomed the decision and termed it as historic.
BJP leader and Minister of State for Social Justice Vijay Sampla said the proposed law will help economically weaker upper caste sections whose annual earning is lower than Rs 8 lakhs and who possess less than 5 acres of land. It will not affect reservation of other categories, he added.