Refusing to be drawn into an argument that the law to provide 10.5 percent reservation for Vanniyars is "temporary," he said, "this is an issue concerning the state's social justice and special reservation." "As far as the quota for Vanniyars is concerned, the government will consult legal experts and surely uphold social justice," he said, responding to a particular call attention motion brought by AIADMK, the Vanniyar dominated Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), and Tamizhaga Vazhurimai Katchi (TVK). He pointed out that the Supreme Court had observed that the state legislature and government have powers to enact laws on (internal) reservation.
Accusing the previous AIADMK regime of hurriedly enacting the reservation legislation, the Chief Minister claimed. However, the recommendation was made in 2012. The then AIADMK government had passed the law only in 2021, and that too "half an hour before the election commission's model code of conduct came into force" for the April Assembly election. The Supreme Court (on March 31) struck down the 10.5 percent reservation provided to the Vanniyar community saying there is no substantial basis for treating them; differently, he pointed out.
The bench had upheld the Madras High Court order quashing the reservation.
Though the AIADMK brought the 2021 Act, his government engaged senior counsels: Rakesh Dwivedi, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Mukul Rohatgi, and P Wilson to effectively argue the case since it was the DMK that had ensured 20 percent reservation for MBC, the Chief Minister said. "But both the Madras High Court and the Supreme Court struck down the reservation as the AIADMK government hastily brought the legislation," Stalin alleged. The PMK and others moved the Supreme Court challenging the November 1, 2021, judgment of the Madras High Court quashing the quota for Vanniyars.
Later, speaking to reporters outside the Assembly House, Leader of the Opposition AIADMK K Palaniswami claimed that the CM wrongly accused his regime of enacting the 2021 act hastily. But in reality, shortly after the enactment, elections were announced, and there was a regime change.
"The DMK government had failed to extend the term of Justice Kulsekharan Commission to collect quantifiable data on castes, communities, and tribes. Also, the state government did not engage senior counsels to argue the case is successfully providing the report of the Backward Class Commission on internal reservation headed by J A Ambasankar," Palaniswami claimed.
The former Chief Minister asserted that since the days of party founder and former Chief Minister M G Ramachandran, the AIDMK has been following the policy of adequate representation for all sections. "Accordingly, we enacted laws to provide 10.5 percent reservation for Vanniyars," he said.