Updated: March 9, 2021 1:52:02 am
With Supreme Court seeking response from state governments on the question of interpretation of the 102nd amendment to the Constitution, the BJP on Monday said the amendment that gave powers to the President to notify socially and educationally backward classes (SEBC) and Parliament the power to change the SEBC list was not to take away the powers of the state, but was just fulfilling a long-held demand for constitutional status to the National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC).
“The 102nd amendment was just to give special powers to the commission (NCBC). It allows the commission to appropriately examine implementation of reservation given to OBCs in services and education,” BJP general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Bhupender Yadav told The Indian Express.
“Several Parliamentary committees had also made that demand. What the BJP government did in August 2018 was just fulfill a long-term demand.”
Why SC decision is significant
The Supreme Court’s decision to examine if the 50 percent quota rule set by Indra Sawhney case needs a re-look assumes significance given that many state governments – such as Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu – have nevertheless proceeded to grant reservation in excess of the limit.
Yadav refused to make any comment on the Supreme Court’s notice to the states on whether the landmark 1992 judgment — also known as the Mandal verdict, which caps quota at 50 per cent — should be re-looked and referred to a larger bench.
The JD(U), BJP’s ally in Bihar, said it wants states to have the power to decide the backward castes that should be added to the SEBC. “States should be deciding which community or caste should be added to the list of backward classes,” JD(U) leader K C Tyagi told The Indian Express. “We are the party of Karpoori Thakur, who had implemented quota within quota. Our chief minister Nitish Kumar followed the same steps.”
Pointing out that JD(U) has been demanding a caste census, Tyagi said only such a census can decide the ceiling for caste reservation.
“Now it is said backward classes form 52 per cent of the total population, but we are of the view that it not less than 65 per cent,” Tyagi said. “Our question is how can we decide who would get what unless there is a caste-bases census. How can we decide quota within quota without such a data?”
He said the JD(U) believes that states should be able to decide which caste is backward. “And for the ceiling, the Supreme Court itself had agreed that in some states it can exceed the 50-per cent limit,” he said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.