With about five months left for the Lok Sabha elections, the cabinet on Monday approved 10 percent reservation to economically backward upper castes in government jobs, sources told CNBC Awaaz.
The reservation will be for those belonging to the upper castes, earning less than Rs 8 lakh per year, having agriculture land below 5 hectare, residential house below 1000 sq.ft., residential plot below 109 yards in notified municipality, residential plot below 209 yards in non-notified municipality area, according to the sources.
This reservation will be over and above the existing 50 percent reservation, said the sources, adding that the government is likely to bring a constitutional amendment bill in Parliament on Tuesday.
"The reservation will be given to those economically backward poor people who are not availing the benefit of reservation as of now," a source said.
With the Congress and the BJP leaving no stone unturned to woo the voters, the move could play a significant role in favouring the Modi government that is seeking to retain power in the next term as well.Reacting to the move, Congress leader and former chief minister of Uttarakhand Harish Rawat told
ANI, "No matter what they do, what 'jumlas' they give, nothing is going to save this government."
"The proposal to give 10% reservation to economically weaker upper castes is nothing more than a 'jumla'. It is bristling with legal complications and there is no time for getting it passed through both Houses of Parliament. Government stands completely exposed," tweeted BJP leader Yashwant Sinha.
Rajya Sabha member KTS Tulsi termed it as "a joke with people". "This is a joke with people. They know there can't be more than 50 per cent reservation, so they we want to bring it so that they can say look we want to bring the bill but the court is not allowing us. This is only to start the blame game. The question is either we should have criteria on the basis of caste or it should be on the economic bases," he told India Today.
Praising the government for its move, Union minister Ramdas Athawale told the channel, "The government has taken a very good decision, which would help large section of the society, who are economically backward among different upper caste."
(With inputs from PTI)