A day after the Supreme Court upheld the Centre’s 10 percent quota for the poor or EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) in employment and education, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has called for a census caste national while the party of his Tamil Nadu counterpart MK Stalin said that his govt. contest the decision in court.
The Supreme Court said that the quota is not discriminatory and does not change the basic structure of the constitution. The verdict is a major victory for the BJP at the centre, which introduced the quota just before the 2019 general elections, after losing three key northern states.
MK Stalin’s DMK party files a review petition in the Supreme Court. “The verdict touches the heart of equality enshrined in the constitution,” said the party, stating that the quota is “against social justice and equality” and a setback for the century-old struggle for social justice .
Stalin also called for an all-party meeting on Saturday to discuss the way forward.
Nitish Kumar said the 50 percent cap on reservations in the country should be removed.
“What the Supreme Court ruled was quite fair. We were always in support of the quota. But it is high time that the 50 percent limit was raised. The cap deprives the OBC (Other Backward Classes) and the EBC (Extremely Backward Class). ) of opportunities in proportion to their population,” said Mr. Kumar, an OBC leader who came into the national limelight during the agitation over the Mandal Commission’s recommendations for the quota for backward castes.
He called for a fresh estimate of the size of various social groups, adding that he had also raised the need for a caste census with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year.
“We were told that the states could hold such leaders. We did that exercise. But this should also be done at the national level. There should be a rethink on the issue of the caste census,” said the Prime Minister.
Mr Kumar’s former ally, the BJP, mocked his comments, accusing him of being “obviously unhappy” that poor upper castes are getting quota.
The demand for the removal of 50 per cent was first made by RJD’s Lalu Yadav. Nitish Kumar quit the BJP and formed a new government with the RJD in August.
The Congress party supported the Supreme Court’s decision.
“We welcome it. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes should get reservations on the basis of their population. The backward classes should get reservations according to the Mandal commission. We are in favor of the court’s decision,” said Bhupesh Baghel, the Chief Congress Minister. – ruled Chhattisgarh.
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