The Modi government is all set to table a constitutional amendment in Parliament on Tuesday in order to provide 10 percent reservation for the economically weaker upper castes. News agency ANI reported, “10 percent reservation approved by Union Cabinet for economically weaker upper caste sections. Reservation approved in Govt jobs and education.”
According to the Indian Express report, the reservation in jobs will be for citizens belonging to upper caste with less than Rs 8 lakh annual income. So, the move seems to cover most of the middle-class families.
For more details: Modi government gives nod to reservation for general category
By this move which was unexpected and sudden, PM Modi has once again shown why he is referred to as the ‘creative disruptor’. The latest decision comes as a bolt from the blue for the opposition parties. They don’t know what to say, what to do and how to react. It is a masterstroke, considering the fact that if opposition parties take a stand against the 10% quota for the economically weaker ‘upper castes’, they might be at risk of losing upper caste votes. If they support the bill proposing the amendment, the BJP would be the ultimate gainer. The incumbent government seems to have killed many birds with a single stone. The amendment will be a game changer and justifies PM Modi’s slogan of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ in letter and spirit.
The move is also seen as an attempt to pacify the members belonging to the general category after the SC/ST Act row. It will help the BJP to win back disenchanted upper caste voters and would also provide impetus to consolidate its traditional upper caste base in its favor ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The result of the government’s ordinance on the SC/ST act was reflected in the election results of the three Hindi heartland states. The disenchanted forward caste either pressed the NOTA or voted for some other political party.
The move went on to thwart the entire narrative of the cabal to foment so-called ‘Savarna’ hatred against the Modi government by projecting him as ‘anti-upper caste’. The underlying theme of the manufactured outrage has been that BJP is pandering towards the SC/ST community insofar as to compromise with the interests of the so-called Savarna groups (mostly Brahmins and Thakurs).
From the past few months, there has been a well sponsored malicious campaign sponsored by the cabal in order to encourage upper caste voters to press NOTA. With the latest move, it seems that days of ‘NOTA warriors’ are over. In the days to come, this single move is set to impact the strategies of opposition parties as well as of the alliance partners. Overall, this move is politically significant as it marks the launch of BJP’s election campaign for 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The move is no less than a political surgical strike conducted with sheer precision.
Additionally, since the reservation criteria laid down by the government include those with less than 8 lakhs annual household income (which effectively includes a majority of the Indian middle class), another narrative that the government is anti-Middle class has been squarely dismantled.
Also read: Is BJP an anti-Savarna party?