All for votes: Siddaramaiah set to hike quota to 70 per cent

Reservation will be based on socio-economic survey by BCs panel: CM.

Bengaluru: With his sights set on retention of power during elections to the Legislative Assembly in 2018, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday announced the state government’s intention to hike the reservation quota for SC/ST, Backward Communities and OBCs from 50 per cent to 70 per cent.

Speaking at Valmiki Jayanti celebrations here, Mr Siddaramaiah said the government has decided to increase the quota based on the socio-economic survey conducted by the Backward Classes Commission. He, however, was quick to clarify that the move was not being done for votes but as part of the government’s responsibility to protect every one's interest.

Tamil Nadu has already provided 69 per cent quota in reservations, and incorporated it in the 9th schedule of the Constitution. The state government plans to enhance the quota on the lines of Tamil Nadu, he added. He also explained that in Karnataka, those belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes did not get adequate representations based on population for various reasons.

Therefore, the ruling Congress has decided to set right the anomalies by enhancing quota in reservations. In case, the quota increases from 50 per cent to 70 per cent, the Scheduled Castes would benefit as the percentage would rise from 15 per cent 17 percent, while the Scheduled Tribes too would climb to 7.5 per cent from three per cent at present.

The Chief Minister also utilized the opportunity to highlight the fact that the Congress government has spent Rs 25,000 crore on welfare schemes for SCs and STs. This year, the government has earmarked Rs 7000 crore for the welfare of SCs and STs, he added.

Mr Siddaramaiah said the party would organize a rally for the Schedule Tribes in the first week of December in Ballari to discuss issues concerning people of the community.

Experts, however, felt enhancing reservation from 50 per cent to 70 per cent would be an uphill task as the Supreme Court has repeatedly stated that it should not exceeded 50 per cent.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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