Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel on Monday said that he would welcome the Union government’s move to give 10 per cent reservation in jobs and educational institutions for economically weaker section of general category only if it is done through constitutional amendment.
The PAAS leader, who has been leading an agitation demanding OBC quota for Patidars for the last three years, however, cautioned that the reservation decision could just be another “election jumla” (poll gimmick) of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre to get votes in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
“I welcome the move if it is done through constitutional amendment. I don’t welcome it if it is simply an election gimmick, aimed at attracting votes. Constitutional amendment is mandatory to implement it,” Hardik told mediapersons.
How overkill diluted quota movement
“Will the BJP amend the Constitution for implementing its decision before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, or after it? That is the question. It is a decision taken in haste… The Union cabinet has only given its approval for it. No survey has been conducted to complete legal formalities…. What is its use, if it proves to be another election lollipop. I can say that it is just an election jumla as the Lok Sabha elections are approaching,” he said.
He cited a decision taken by the Gujarat government to offer 10 per cent reservation to economically weaker sections among upper castes, which was quashed by the Gujarat High Court.
He also alleged the Centre’s move could be a ploy to weaken quota agitations like the one led by PAAS by creating a rift between people of reserved and unreserved categories.