It is to the credit of the Modi Government that the bill to give 10% reservation to Economically Weaker Section (EWS) among the General Category was passed in the Lok Sabha. However, it has become evident that the opposition does not want the ruling party to take all the credit for this pro-poor step, while at the same time it is also trying not to position itself in direct opposition of the Bill.
While the Congress is trying to picture this uplifting step as ‘jumla’, its friendly partners like Jignesh Mevani and Rashtriya Janata Dal are spreading a completely false and scaremongering campaign against the pro-poor move by the Modi Government. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal can be seen actively aiding this misleading campaign apparently aimed at sowing caste animosity between the communities.
Ruling Party’s Stand on Reservation
The present government has time and again made clear that the caste-based reservation which is enshrined in the constitution will stay. Prime Minister Modi himself has categorically said, “Reservation is here to stay. Let there be no doubts about this.”
BJP President Amit Shah has gone ahead and said, “BJP will neither abolish quota nor allow anyone to do so”.
In the present move of ensuring 10% quota to EWS, the SC/ST and OBCs’ reservation will remain intact. Unlike Mevani and others who want people to believe that ‘giving a facility to one is essentially snatching the same from the other’, the Modi Government believes in all-inclusive development across the country. So, the argument that this 10% quota move is a first step of abolishing the caste-based reservation system in India has no basis.
Let us look at how they are spreading blatant lies on social media without any factual basis.
Reading the above tweets, it is quite evident that the opposition has been trying to make this reservation a caste issue. However, the fact is that the Constitution Amendment Bill does not talk about any caste or creed but the Economic Weaker Section (EWS) of the unreserved General Category. You may read about the 124th constitutional amendment bill in our article here. Let us put the facts here:
SC/ST and OBC Reservation Will Not be Disturbed
Jignesh Mevani, Arvind Kejriwal and RJD are evidently weaving a false narrative that giving 10% quota to EWS is an act of snatching away the quota from the groups which already have the reservation. This is a blatant distortion of facts!
Reservation for SC/ST and Other Backward Classes will remain undisturbed. This 10% quota for EWS is absolutely separate from that. This is the reason why the government has moved the Constitutional Amendment Bill so that the present cap of Supreme Court on the reservation at 50% can be expanded to 60%.
Thus, the assumption of Jignesh Mevani, Arvind Kejriwal and RJD seem to be having an ulterior motive of dividing society into caste lines while the Modi Government is striving hard to get justice for all the poor people in the society irrespective of caste and religion.
What About Mayawati Then?
If Jignesh Mevani, Arvind Kejriwal and RJD want to weave a conspiracy theory arguing that ensuring quota for EWS irrespective of the caste is aimed at ending SC/ST, OBCs’ reservation, in the long run, will they involve BSP supremo Mayawati in their conspiracy theory?
This question arises because Mayawati demanded a quota for the poor in the unreserved category in many instances. Even many Dalit and backward class leaders like Ramdas Athawale and Ram Vilas Paswan have demanded similar quota in the past. To bring the unfounded RSS angle in this debate has apparently a political motive which is surely divisive in nature.
Jignesh Mevani & Congress- A picture of Hypocrisy
It should be reminded here that Jignesh Mevani, MLA from Gujarat, had fought the assembly election with the support of the Congress Party. Along with Jignesh Mevani, caste leaders like Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor were also a part of the Congress coalition. Among them, Hardik Patel organized agitations to get a reservation for the Patidar community.
The Congress Party, which is now talking about the constitution in implementing the 10% EWS quota and dubbing this as a ‘jumla’, had earlier backed the Patidar reservation demand posed by Hardik Patel. Unlike the present EWS quota, that demand was apparently more on the basis of caste. Nevertheless, Jignesh Mevani at that time found no ‘threat’ of snatching away other’s quota.
Unlike the caste-based quota reservation proposals in the past as seen in the Hardik Patel’s agitation, this time the Modi government has ensured that irrespective of caste and community consideration, poor across the economic weaker section will get the benefit. More importantly, the reservation for SC/ST will remain undisturbed. So, the opposition effort of spreading a false narrative against this elevating step is in stark contrast with the facts.