Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh Assembly cleared a bill that seeks to offer 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) on Tuesday. With this, the Kamal Nath-led Congress government fulfilled yet another pre-poll promise.
Till now, OBCs have 14 per cent reservation in government jobs and state educational institutions. Ahead of the Assembly polls, the Congress had promised to raise the same to 27 per cent. The bill came up for discussion during proceedings at the Assembly on Tuesday and afterwards the House cleared it with a voice vote.
Soon after the bill was cleared, Public Relations and Law Minister PC Sharma took on the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regime for having failed to do the same.
He said the BJP was in power for 15 years in the state and at the helm were those who represented the OBC category, but nothing was done during its rule. All the three BJP chief ministers since 2003 — Uma Bharti, Babulal Gaur and Shivraj Singh Chouhan — belonged to this category.
Lawmakers taking part in the debate underlined the need for extending the reservation to those who are genuinely needy and ensure that the benefits were not exploited.
The cabinet had cleared this proposal for reservation of OBCs, who comprise almost 52% of the state’s population, on July 6.
The Congress’ media co-ordinator Narendra Saluja said, “Whatever the BJP’s three OBC chief ministers could not do in 15 years, Nath has ensured it in seven months.”
Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) have 15 per cent and 21 per cent reservation, respectively in the state. With the OBCs now having 27 per cent quota, the total percentage of the reservation is 63 per cent. Add to it, the 10 per cent quota for economically weaker sections and reservation in the state totals to a staggering 73 per cent.