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As Centre Mulls Introducing Reservation for Economically Weaker Upper Castes, Oppn Calls it Poll 'Gimmick'

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Image for Representation

While some political parties have promised support to this move, the major opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh have termed it as a mere "gimmick" or a "lollipop" for gaining votes of the upper caste voters.

Lucknow: The Centre's decision to implement 10% reservation for economically backward upper castes in jobs and education ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections has kicked up a row and set the tongues wagging in the political circles.

While some political parties have promised support to this move, the major opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh have termed it as a mere "gimmick" or a "lollipop" for gaining votes of the upper caste voters.

The Samajwadi Party termed the move as one intended to "fool" people and pointed out that the BJP is yet to deliver on its past promises. Speaking to News18, Samajwadi Party spokesperson Anurag Bhadauria said, “The Modi government had promised Rs 15 lakh to everyone and two crore jobs. Nothing is seen yet on the ground. This is just a political gimmick and such proposals never actually materialise. The BJP is very clever in fooling people ahead of the general elections. However, people are now aware of all these gimmicks and they will teach a lesson to the BJP in 2019.”

Echoing similar sentiments, UP Congress spokesperson Anshu Awasthi said, “I would like to remind that reservation for upper caste was also proposed by the Congress in their 2014 Lok Sabha election manifesto. But now the BJP is proposing reservation for the upper caste with just two days remaining in the winter session. This is more like a ‘lollipop’ to the upper castes ahead of Lok Sabha polls.”


The Karni Sena too seemed unimpressed by the move. "This is a gimmick in the name of reservation to upper castes. This won't be possible in the current legal framework. The proposal will have to be tabled in Parliament. This decision seems to be taken in haste by the BJP because of defeats in assembly elections of three states," National Spokesperson of Karni Sena, Major Himanshu said.

In a decision that may prove to be a game-changer ahead of general elections, the Union Cabinet on Monday, sources say, approved 10% reservation for economically backward upper castes in jobs and education.

As per initial information, those earning less than Rs 8 lakh per annum would be eligible for the proposed quota. PTI quoted its sources as saying that the quota would be over and above the existing 50% reservation cap imposed by the Supreme Court.

Sources added that the government will move the Constitutional Amendment Bill on Tuesday and may also extend the winter session for the same by two days. In its first reaction to the quota move, the Congress dubbed it a “poll gimmick” and questioned how the government was planning to juggle the numbers for the same since the Supreme Court had placed a 50% limit on quotas. In a tweet, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi questioned why the government waited four years and eight months to announce the move.