The Congress on Sunday called the Gujarat government’s decision to implement the 10 per cent quota for economically weaker sections (EWS) of the general category in education and government jobs from January 14 as a “hurried” one that would “create confusion among the candidates”.
Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda described the government’s decision as “a political announcement”. “The central government generally informs state governments about the new Act and its rules and then it gets implemented. Here, the Chief Minister has simply made an announcement through a tweet and a press release. We do not know the modalities of the Act’s implementation, how will it be implemented and what will be the rules,” said Chavda.
“The BJP government has said it will implement the provision from January 14, which is Uttarayan holiday. The Chief Minister should explain the logic behind this announcement and the process to implement it,” he added.
The BJP government should also explain the status of a stay granted by the Supreme Court on the similar 10 per cent reservation for EWS category in Gujarat that was introduced when Anandiben Patel was chief minister, Chavda added.
Aimed at nipping cynicism
The decision of the state BJP government to implement the 10% quota for economically weaker sections of general category in education and government jobs from January 14 is aimed at silencing the opponents — Congress and Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel — as well as those within the party, leaders like Reshma Patel, who have called the Modi government’s move a poll jumla (gimmick) or lollipop. With Lok Sabha elections around the corner, the BJP is keen to show that it is committed towards giving quota to the poor. However, it is yet to be seen how the decision will be implemented in the weeks ahead.
Meanwhile in Kolkata, Independent MLA and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani said that the move to provide 10 per cent quota to upper caste poor is a step towards realizing the RSS-BJP’s agenda to remove caste-based reservations.
“I am apprehensive and so are members of the Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Class that this is the first step towards putting an end to the reservation on the ground of socio-educational deprivation. It has been a long-pending agenda of the RSS-BJP to discard the Constitution and end reservation based on caste system,” he said.
Mevani also said that the quota system was introduced to give representation to socially and educationally backward people and it wasn’t meant to end poverty. “We have absolutely no issues with the poor people from other communities getting any benefit. But reservation is not meant to remove poverty. It is meant to give representation to SC/ST/OBC people, who on account of the society’s caste structure, have remained socially and educationally backward,” he said.