Mumbai, Jan 7 (PTI) The NCP Monday wondered if the Union cabinet’s move to approve 10 per cent quota for the economically weaker sections in the general category was the “beginning” to cancel the reservation for SCs and STs “as per the RSS’ stand”. Also Read - Alert Staffer at Ahmedabad Airport Finds Bag With USD 750, Returns it to Passenger
The NCP also said the move will mainly benefit the middle class and not the poor. Also Read - AAP to Contest on All seats in Gujarat Assembly Election 2022; Kejriwal Says Things Will Change Now
Clarifying that the party is not against the latest quota, senior party leader Nawab Malik said the poor would not get the reservation benefits in education and government jobs until the Rs 8 lakh annual eligibility ceiling is reduced. Also Read - Modi Cabinet Expansion Buzz: Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sushil Modi to Get Ministerial Berth in Next Reshuffle? Take a Look at Likely Contenders
The NCP national spokesperson also said that second RSS Sarsanghchalak MS Golwalkar had in his 1966 book ‘Bunch of Thoughts’ talked about giving reservation on the basis of the economic criteria.
He said the Sangh had also allegedly talked about cancelling the quota given to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
“The government should explain if that (process) has begun through this decision…will it cancel reservations being given to SCs, STs and others?” he asked.
Observing that the quota decision is taken with an eye on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Malik said the government will have to bring in a Constitutional amendment.
According to sources, the Union Cabinet has approved 10 per cent reservation in jobs and educational institutions for the economically backward section in the general category.
The reservation benefit is likely to be availed by those whose annual income is below Rs 8 lakh and have up to five acres of land.
The government is likely to bring a Constitutional amendment bill in Parliament on Tuesday as the new quota will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation.
“We are not opposing any decision that has been taken for the upper caste poor based on the economic criteria, but setting the income limit below Rs 8 lakh will not benefit the poor, but the middle class will get more benefits out of it,” Malik said.
As they are taking a decision to give 10 per cent reservation to upper class, a constitutional amendment is required, he said, adding that such amendments should be there along with state-wise reservations (like those given to Marathas in Maharashtra and Patels in Gujarat).
He said the NCP would launch a statewide ‘Parivartan Yatra’ on January 9 from Mahad in Raigad district, to highlight “failures” of the BJP-led Central and state governments.
In the first phase of the mass outreach campaign till January 14, the NCP aims to cover parts of Raigad, Thane and Palghar districts, apart from Navi Mumbai.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.