New Delhi: In a major move ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Union Cabinet on Monday cleared a 10 per cent job and education quota for “economically weaker” sections, meeting a key demand of upper castes, a staunch BJP support base which has shown signs of a drift from the party.
A top government functionary said a constitutional amendment Bill will be tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.
The proposed reservation will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation enjoyed by the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes, taking the total reservation to 60 per cent.
The constitutional amendment Bill would be required as the constitution does not provide for reservation on the ground of economic conditions. It envisages amendment to Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution.
A Union minister said the Bill once passed will amend the Constitution accordingly to give reservation to the poor among the general castes and classes.
“The Bill will provide a shelter for upper castes under the rubric of fundamental rights. The court’s rule of the maximum 50 per cent quota cannot fetter Parliament’s right to amend the Constitution,” he said. In its famous Indra Sawhney judgement, the Supreme Court had set a cap of 50 per cent cap on quotas.
Government sources said the proposed constitutional amendment will pave the way for the additional quota....