On Monday, the Union Cabinet declared 10 per cent reservation for upper caste people who are economically weak. This could play in favour of Modi Government for the upcoming 2019 elections. Many experts state that the NDA government has played its biggest electoral card since its formation.
RSS who has always maintained that reservation should be based on economic lines and not on caste lines has also hailed the decision.
But, not every upper caste people will be allowed to use this 10% quota. So who is eligible for this?
- Those who do not have land beyond 5 acres in their name
- People who do not own 200 yards in non-notified areas
- People who do not own plot 1,000 square yard
- Those who do not have an annual income of over Rs 8 lakh.
Ramdas Athawale, “The government has taken an excellent decision”
Ramdas Athawale, Union minister and BJP ally, said, “The government has taken an excellent decision, which would help a large section of society, who are economically backward among different upper caste.”
This decision has received a mixed response from political parties. Opposition parties have termed the government’s decision politically motivated for the upcoming Lok Sabha election.
Asaduddin Owaisi says, “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”.
Amiben Yagnik, Congress Leader, on the other hand, said: “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.”
Abhishek Manu says this reservation as a poll gimmick
Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Sanghvi calls the 10 per cent reservation announcement a “poll gimmick”.
The proposal of Union Cabinet was passed by both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Rajya Sabha passed the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019, with 165 ‘ayes’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “delighted” and “glad to see such widespread support for the Bill”. He also called it “a victory for social justice”.
This fulfils a long-standing demand of the economically weaker Upper castes in India. This is Modi’s audacious gamble before the 2019 general elections. Rumours in Delhi suggests that Narendra Modi is considering a direct benefit transfer scheme for BPL households of Rs 2,000- 2500 also in the pipeline are probably tax relief for the middle class with these Modi hopes to sail through the elections and return with a greater majority.