Narendra Modi govt to give 10% reservation to economically backward upper castes

The Union Cabinet on Monday decided to give 10 percent reservation to economically backward members of the upper castes in government jobs. 

NEW DELHI: In a major decision, the Union Cabinet on Monday approved 10 percent reservation to the economically backward members of the upper castes in government jobs. The reservation benefits will be given to those belonging to the economically weaker upper castes and earning less than Rs 8 lakh per year, according to the decision taken by the Union Cabinet.   

Quoting government sources, news agency ANI confirmed that the Union Cabinet has approved 10 percent reservation for upper castes.

Quotas for economically backward in general category will be over and above existing 50 percent reservation, sources said.

The decision to this effect was taken during a meeting of the Union Cabinet, which was chaired by PM Narendra Modi. 

Following the Union Cabinet's approval, the Narendra Modi government will now move to amend the Constitution in order to grant 10 percent reservation for the economically weaker upper castes.

The government is likely to bring constitutional amendment bill on quotas for economically weaker sections in Parliament on Tuesday, the sources said.

The decision effectively means that those who are economically backward and fall under the general category will now be able to enjoy the benefits of reservation in government jobs, an advantage that wasn't available to them previously.

The development also assumes significance as it comes several months ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha elections, which is likely to be held between April-May.

The Union Cabinet's decision is being viewed as a big political masterstroke by the ruling BJP to consolidate its position among several disgruntled upper caste communities ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha polls.

Several NDA allies, including Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP and RPI led by Ramdas Athawale, had in past demanded reservation for the economically backward upper caste members in government jobs.  

The Supreme Court has capped at 50% the quota for caste-based reservation for government jobs.