Ahmedabad, Sep 17 (IANS) Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale on Sunday said that reservations in jobs should go up from the present 49.5 per cent to 75 per cent on economic criteria and higher castes must also benefit.

Athawale, who is from the Republican Party of India and had earlier batted for quota for Scheduled Castes and Tribes in the Indian cricket team, stated: “Currently there is 49.5 per cent reservations. We should increase it by 25 per cent to accommodate Patels, Rajputs, Brahmins, Baniyas and Marathas.”

The minister, who has been espousing a separate state for Vidarbha in Maharashtra where he hails from, told reporters that “these higher castes should not fall under the creamy layer or be earning Rs 8 lakh a year to get reservations.

“I believe that they should get 25 per cent reservations by increasing quota the overall quota to 75 per cent.”

He added that this should not disturb the existing reservation system benefitting the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.