Mayawati hails 10% quota, but questions the timing

Descibes decision as a ‘political illusion’ and an ‘election stunt’

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Tuesday welcomed the 10% reservation announced for economically weaker sections of the general category but questioned the timing of the decision by the Narendra Modi government months before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. She described the decision as a “political illusion” and an “election stunt.”

Ms. Mayawati said reservation for “poor savarnas” (poor upper castes) had been a long-standing demand of the BSP. Though the Modi government had accepted it in an “incomplete and half-baked” manner, her party supported the decision of the Union Cabinet, she said. The four-time Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh also demanded that the 50% cap on quota for SC/ST and OBC also be reviewed with “good intent” and the reservation for these groups be increased according to the rise in their population over the years.

“It would have been better had the government taken the decision much earlier. So that this new reservation policy could be implemented in a proper way or provide true benefits to poor savarnas,” said Ms. Mayawati. The Union Cabinet on Monday approved a Constitution Amendment Bill to provide 10% reservation to the economically backward sections in the general category. The Bill will also cover those from the Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist and other minority communities.

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