New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that 10 per cent reservation in jobs and education for the economically weaker section (EWSs) to the general category, would not affect the existing reservation for Dalits, Tribals and others.  PM Modi was in Madurai to lay the foundation stone for AIIMS (All India Institutes of Medical Sciences). He also inaugurated super-speciality blocks at medical colleges in Thanjavur and Tirunelveli.

Addressing the gathering, he hit out at the opposition parties and said, “It’s unfortunate that an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust is being created by a few people in Tamil Nadu to serve their own selfish interest. I urge all of you to remain vigilant against such negativity. Any political thought which opposes poor can’t ever benefit anyone.” (ALSO READ: Shining Toilet Contest: Here’s All You Need to Know)

Recently, opposition DMK and some other parties have opposed the 10 per cent quota, saying social backward alone should be the criterion for reservation. The DMK has moved the Madras High Court challenging the Constitution amendment providing for 10 per cent EWS quota.

Hearing the plea, the Madras High Court had issued a notice to the Centre to reply before February 18 on a DMK’s petition challenging 10 per cent reservation. (ALSO READ: PM Narendra Modi Addresses 52nd Edition of Mann Ki Baat: Full Text)

Till now, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand have implemented the quota in their respective states.

On January 25, the Supreme Court had issued a notice to Centre on pleas challenging the constitutional amendment that gives 10 per cent reservation in jobs and education for the economically weaker section (EWSs) of the general category.

The Rajya Sabha had passed the bill granting 10 per cent quota, after hours of debate, on January 8. The Bill seeks to amend Article 15 of the Constitution, by adding a clause which allows states to make “special provision for the advancement of any economically weaker sections of citizens”.

The Bill has fixed an annual income of less than Rs 8 lakh and not owning more than five acres of agricultural land as criteria for defining an economically weaker section in the general category for availing of the reservation in educational institutions as well as government jobs.

It does not provide for quota for those owning a flat of 1000 square feet or more, land of 100 sq yards in notified municipality area and 200 yards in the non-notified area.