EWS verdict fallout: Nitish Kumar renews old demand to scrap 50 per cent cap on reservations | The Financial Express

EWS verdict fallout: Nitish Kumar renews old demand to scrap 50 per cent cap on reservations

The Janata Dal (United) leader’s remarks came in the backdrop of the Supreme Court upholding 10 per cent quota in educational institutions and jobs for the Economically Weaker Sections of the general quota in a 3:2 majority verdict.

EWS verdict fallout: Nitish Kumar renews old demand to scrap 50 per cent cap on reservations
Nitish Kumar (File Image)

Seeking a larger chunk of quota in educational institutions and government jobs for backward classes, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday demanded that the 50 per cent cap on reservations be done away with, reported news agency PTI. The Janata Dal (United) leader’s remarks came in the backdrop of the Supreme Court upholding 10 per cent quota in educational institutions and jobs for the Economically Weaker Sections of the general quota in a 3:2 majority verdict.

The top court’s decision has come as a shot in the arm for the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has termed the SC verdict a win for Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had announced this decision by the government ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

“What the Supreme Court ruled was fair enough. We were always in support of the quota. But it is high time that the limit of 50 per cent be raised. The cap is depriving OBCs and EBCs of opportunities in proportion to their population,” Kumar said.

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The OBC leader also reiterated the need for caste-based census, and said that he had taken it up with PM Modi last year.

Earlier, in June, the Bihar CM had said that his government would carry out a caste-based “count” instead of a “census” in the state, which is dominated by the Other Backward Castes (OBCs).

“We were told that states could hold such headcounts. We have undertaken that exercise. But this needs to be done on the national level as well. There must be a rethink on the issue of caste census,” Kumar said.

Kumar is an OBC leader who owes his rise in politics to the churning brought about by the Mandal Commission, which was set up in 1979 under the Morarji Desai government and chaired by B.P. Mandal.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a former ally of the JD(U), lashed out at CM Kumar saying that he is “speaking the language” of its current ally the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

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“If you want the 50 per cent cap to be raised, do the needful in Bihar as per constitutional norms. We will welcome it,” alleged BJP spokesperson Arvind Kumar Singh.

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First published on: 09-11-2022 at 10:40 IST