When all most every opposition party is opposing Union Cabinet's decision to provide 10 per cent reservation in government jobs and education for economically weaker sections in the general category, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati has extended support to it but called it an 'election stunt and a political gimmick. But in the same breath, she demanded an increase in reservation provided to Scheduled Castes (SC), the Scheduled Tribes (ST) and the Other Backward Classes (OBC) according to the rise in their population over the years.
The four-time chief minister said that reservation for 'poor savarnas' (poor upper castes) had been a long-standing demand of her party and it would have been better had the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) taken the decision much earlier. "It would have been better had the BJP taken the decision much earlier... The government is now on its way out," she claimed.
"BSP's demand to provide reservation to the economically backward sections in general category is approved by the Cabinet in an immature way and without preparation. Our party, however, welcomes the decision though it appears to be an election stunt and political gimmick of BJP ahead of Lok Sabha polls," Mayawati told ANI. She also said that SC/ST and OBC should be provided reservation as per their population which has increased in the last few years. "In reality, there should be a review of reservation provided to SC/ST and OBC and these sections should be provided reservation as per their population by increasing their quota by amending the Constitution," she said.
The BSP chief also said that her party has demanded reservation for economically weak Muslims and other minority communities but the ruling BJP did not do 'justice' to them and that is condemnable. "The party had written a letter in this regard to the government but Centre took a narrow and communal stand and provided the benefit to only a particular section (upper caste), which is an injustice for other sections," she said.
The Cabinet has cleared the quota for economically weaker sections of upper caste and Union government is likely to bring a constitutional amendment bill in Parliament to provide the quota over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation.