The Union Cabinet on Monday approved 10 per cent reservation for economically backward people in general category in jobs and educational institutions.
According to a report in Outlook, the Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, took the decision to provide for 10 per cent quota for people belonging to “unreserved categories”, including Christians and Muslims, in jobs and education with an annual income limit of Rs 8 lakh and land holding ceiling of about five acres, highly-placed sources said.
A Constitution amendment bill for the purpose is likely to be introduced in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
The proposed move will not disturb the existing 50 per cent reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes, sources said.
He said that rules will be framed in due course to implement the Cabinet decision.
The decision comes four months before the Lok Sabha polls and after the reverses suffered by BJP in the Assembly polls in the Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
The BJP was said to have faced the wrath of the upper castes, especially in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, over the amendment brought by the Central government to nullify the Supreme Court judgement in the SC-ST Act last year.
Reacting to the decision, BJP MP Udit Raj said it was a “bold” decision.
However, former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha said the proposal was “nothing more than a jumla” which bristles with legal complications and there was no time for getting it passed in both the Houses of Parliament.
Meanwhile, citing the Supreme Courts cap of 50 per cent on reservation, Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Monday called the Modi governments move of 10 per cent reservation for economically backward upper castes in jobs and educational institutions as an “election gimmick”.
Singhvi, among the first to inform on twitter about the cabinet’s approval to 10 per cent reservation to economically backward upper castes, questioned whether the Modi government had the majority in Parliament to carry out the Constitutional amendment.