Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet on Monday approved a Constitutional Amendment Bill which seeks to provide 10 per cent reservation in admissions to educational institutions and central government jobs for economically weaker sections from among upper castes and all other communities who do not enjoy quota benefits.
This move will have a far-reaching political significance in view of the upcoming parliamentary elections. On the face of it, this is a well-considered decision to give reservation in jobs to poor people from all those castes, which had been out of the purview of reservation till now.
There are however two major questions that arise. One, will the government be able to get the Constitutional Amendment Bill passed in both Houses of Parliament by a two-third majority, and can it stand judicial scrutiny? I think most of the political parties will not take the risk of opposing this measure, and the government may manage to get it passed in both Houses.
The second question: what will be the political fallout? Upper castes had been demanding reservation for their economically weaker sections for the last several decades in different states. This bill can serve as a game changer for Prime Minister Modi in winning over their support and give them relief.
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