Election gimmick': Congress slams Centre's 'quota for upper caste' move

Congress accused Centre of misleading country as it did not have requisite majority to get Constitutional amendment passed in Parliament.

New Delhi: The Congress on Monday described the government's decision of quota for economically backward sections in the general category as an "election gimmick" to fool the people and a proof of BJP's "fear" of losing Lok Sabha polls.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi accused the government of "posturing" and misleading the country as it did not have the requisite majority to get a Constitutional amendment passed in Parliament.

The opposition party also questioned the timing of the move, saying the government did not think about it for four years and eight months and has announced it just months before the model code of conduct comes into effect.

"Why did you not think of this for four years and eight months? So obviously thought of as election gimmick three months before the model code. You know that you cannot exceed 50 per cent maxima so it is done only to posture that you tried," he said in a tweet.

"The forward reservation is a gimmick to fool people. They are only misleading the nation," he said, adding that the Balaji verdict with 50 per cent maxima continues to be the law.

"Modi and the BJP clearly think that Indian public eats grass. Crass politicisation. Proof positive of fear and certainty losing 2019," he said on Twitter.

He said Tamil Nadu is an exception and an aberration, as the challenge is pending in the Supreme Court. He said PM Modi never did this in the last four to five years and has no majority to get the quota bill passed. He added that similar laws by Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan on quota have also been struck down as they exceeded 50 per cent reservation limit.

Singhvi said the Balaji verdict has put the fundamental rule of equality limiting exception to 50 per cent, which was reiterated in the Indira Sawhney case and the recent Nagaraj review has not changed this basic principle.

The Union Cabinet has approved 10 per cent reservation in jobs and educational institutions for the economically backward section in the general category, sources said on Monday.

The government is likely to bring a constitutional amendment bill in Parliament on Tuesday, they said, adding that the quota will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation. This section doesn't get reservation as of now.

( Source : PTI )
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