Senior BJP leaders on Monday welcomed the Supreme Court's landmark decision upholding a 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker sections (EWS) in admissions and government jobs and demanded quota in the private sector also.
In a landmark verdict, a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice U.U. Lalit by a majority view of 3:2 on Monday upheld the validity of the 103rd Constitution amendment providing 10 per cent reservation to the EWS in admissions and government jobs. The court said the quota does not violate the basic structure of the Constitution.
The BJP lauded the SC verdict upholding the EWS quota on Monday, saying it is a victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his “mission” to provide social justice to the country's poor.
The former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti also said that 27 per cent reservation for the Other Backward Classes can also be implemented under special circumstances in states like MP, where the OBC population is high.
1. 10% ईडब्ल्यूएस आरक्षण (आर्थिक रूप से पिछड़े सवर्णों) के पक्ष में सुप्रीम कोर्ट के निर्णय का अभिनंदन।— Uma Bharti (@umasribharti) November 7, 2022
2. सब गरीबों की एक ही जात है वह गरीब है, यह आरक्षण राष्ट्र में एकात्मता लाएगा। मेरी अपील है कि दुनिया के सभी अभावग्रस्त लोग एक बेहतर जिंदगी के लिए एकजुट होकर अपनी लड़ाई लड़ें।
Her tweet in English read "Congratulations on the decision of the Supreme Court in favor of 10% EWS reservation (Economically Backward Savarnas). All the poor have the same caste, they are poor, this reservation will bring unity in the nation. My appeal is that all the needy people of the world unite and fight their battle for a better life."
BJP general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh praised the court order and tweeted:
Supreme Court upholds the legality of EWS reservation for unreserved sections . Another big credit for PM Sri @narendramodi ‘s vision of Gareeb Kalyan . A big boost in the direction of social justice .— B L Santhosh (@blsanthosh) November 7, 2022
The ruling party also slammed Congress spokesperson and its SC-ST department head Udit Raj for his tweet following the verdict that the apex court is "casteist", saying it has exposed the opposition party's "anti-poor" mindset.
सुप्रीम कोर्ट जातिवादी है, अब भी कोई शक! EWS आरक्षण की बात आई तो कैसे पलटी मारी कि 50% की सीमा संवैधानिक बाध्यता नही है लेकिन जब भी SC/ST/OBC को आरक्षण देने की बात आती थी तो इंदिरा साहनी मामले में लगी 50% की सीमा का हवाला दिया जाता रहा।— Dr. Udit Raj (@Dr_Uditraj) November 7, 2022
His tweet in English read: "Supreme Court is casteist, still no doubt! When it came to EWS reservation, how was it reversed that the 50% limit is not a constitutional obligation, but whenever it came to give reservation to SC/ST/OBC, the 50% limit in Indira Sawhney case was cited."
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said it was contempt of the court which, he added, should initiate proceedings against Raj. Bhatia dubbed the remarks of Raj as scurrilous and asked Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge to clarify whether this is the stand of his party too. He adding that Raj had earlier targeted President Droupadi Murmu, the first tribal to occupy the position, as well.
The Congress, however, also welcomed the judgment. In an official statement, it claimed that the EWS reservation was the outcome of the process initiated by the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government in 2005-06 with the appointment of the Sinho Commission that submitted its report in July 2010.
The Congress party welcomes the Supreme Court's verdict to uphold the 10% quota for EWS category. Congress played a significant role in this journey.— Congress (@INCIndia) November 7, 2022
While we must applaud the decision, the govt must also make clear where it stands on an updated caste census.
Another BJP general secretary C T Ravi said the verdict is yet another victory for Modi in his mission to provide social justice to the country's poor.
Senior TMC leader and MP Saugata Roy hailed the Supreme Court's verdict related to reservation to people belonging to the economically weaker sections in admissions and government jobs as “historic” even though its chief spokesperson Sukhendu Sekhar Ray refrained from commenting.
Roy, the Lok Sabha MP, said it is a “big step towards achieving economic equality” in the country. “This is a historic judgment. Parliament had unanimously passed the legislation for having 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections. That was challenged in the Supreme Court. The apex court has upheld the amendment, and this is a big step towards achieving economic equality in the country,” said Roy.
Leaders from different political parties, who led the 2015 Patidar quota agitation in Gujarat on Monday welcomed the 10 per cent reservation to the economically weaker sections in admissions and government jobs.
Rajasthan Chief Minister and Congress's senior observer for the upcoming Gujarat elections, Ashok Gehlot, said the apex court judgment will help the poor people get justice. Gehlot said the Rajasthan cabinet had for the first time in the country passed a resolution for reservation for the economically weaker sections when he was the chief minister of the state and (BJP leader) Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister.
“Committees were formed and at last this led to the (103rd) constitutional amendment. I welcome the Supreme Court judgement. This will help the poor get justice. Our spirit should be that a poor person, irrespective of which community he belongs to, gets justice,” Gehlot told reporters in Vadodara.
BJP leader and Gujarat’s former deputy chief minister Nitin Patel said the SC verdict will put an end to the agitations that were seen in many states including Gujarat. “The provisions (of 10 per cent EWS quota) upheld by the Supreme Court will strengthen the country’s unity. The entire country is happy about this. I also welcome the verdict,” he said.
Hardik Patel, BJP leader and former convener of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samit that led the community’s agitation for the reservation in 2015, said members of 68 communities will get the quota benefits. “The decision taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been upheld by the Supreme Court. Members of 68 communities will get benefits in education and jobs. I feel proud that people will be benefited by our (quota) agitation,” Patel said.
Aam Aadmi Party’s Gujarat president Gopal Italia also welcomed the apex court’s verdict and said a demand for the same was led by the Patidar community members and the state’s youth like Alpesh Kathiriya, now an AAP leader.
Italia said the demand for reservation to the EWS candidates was made by people from different parts of the country and it was led by the Patidar youth in Gujarat through the agitation in 2015. "This was the demand of the whole country and it was led by the Patidar community and youth like Alpesh Kathiriya. I welcome this judgment of the Supreme Court and congratulate beneficiaries of the 10 per cent reservation," he said.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Reshma Patel, who had participated in the Patidar quota agitation, also welcomed the verdict.
"The verdict adds an extra virtue to the outcome of the struggle of the Patidar youth in Gujarat. A large section of people from the economically backward section will benefit from the judgment and 10 per cent EWS reservation," she said.