Exposing how little and how late the ministry that moved the proposal for 10 per cent reservation for upper castes knew about the move, an official reply given in Lok Sabha by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on January 8, a day after the Union Cabinet approved the proposal, denies any step on part of the ministry to give reservation to the economically weaker sections (EWS) among upper castes.
A written reply by Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar denying any such move was released on January 8. It was in reply to an unstarred question by Lok Sabha MP from Telangana Rashtra Samithi Kotha Prabhakar Reddy. Reddy had asked the ministry whether the government is exploring the scope of providing reservation to poor candidates from forward communities for education and employment and for details of the same. To both question, the minister’s written reply said, “At present no such proposal is under consideration”.
The reply was released on January 8, a day after the cabinet cleared the proposal for EWS reservation and the same day as Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot moved the 124th Constitutional amendment Bill to provide reservations to EWS in public employment and higher education institutions. While it could be said that the reply itself might have been framed a few days ahead of it being released, it lays bare how little the ministry that moved the Bill knew about the legislation being under process.
The question also asks whether such a demand has been received from Marathas, Rajputs or Thakurs. To that too, the reply is in the negative.