Citing what they said were low cut-off marks for candidates from the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in a preliminary entrance examination conducted by the State Bank of India (SBI), DMK chief Stalin and AIADMK rebel leader T T V Dhinakaran Wednesday demanded that the Centre cancel the 10 per cent EWS quota immediately.
Tweeting a picture of a marksheet of a candidate, Stalin questioned the logic behind the difference in cut-off marks for different categories of students. In the picture he tweeted, the cut-off for EWS candidates was way below those for SC, ST, OBC candidates.
“This is an attempt to make employment opportunities in the Central government and central PSUs beyond the reach of the already deprived and vulnerable candidates from backward, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities. The BJP government should cancel this 10% reservation for EWS immediately,” Stalin said.
Questioning how the EWS segment alone could get the advantage of a lower cut-off, Dhinakaran said the “grave mistake that destroys the very foundation of social justice system should be corrected immediately”. The SBI had no immediate response to the claims on the cut-off marks.
Ever since the 10 per cent reservation for EWS was announced by the Centre, Opposition parties, including the DMK in Tamil Nadu, have been opposing it, arguing that reservation is not a “poverty alleviation programme”.
Stating that reservation is all about “social justice programmes to uplift communities which have not had access to education or employment and consequently do not have representation in the services of the state or in upper echelons of society,” DMK had politically and legally challenged the 10% EWS quota.
Ahead of last Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had attacked the Opposition for creating an “atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust” over the EWS quota.
Speaking at a rally in Madurai in January, Modi said the “10 per cent quota for EWS would not impact the existing reservation benefits for Dalits, tribals and OBCs.”