LUCKNOW: In a bid to re-strategise its moves to counter the impact of prospective grand alliance of the opposition ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha election, BJP has set up a four-member panel to probe if the backward (OBCs) and most backwards (MBCs) are getting reservation in proportion to their numbers.
The panel - Uttar Pradesh Pichhda Varg Samajik Nyay Samiti (backward class social justice committee) - will suggest ways to carve out a quota within the quota, that is, provision of reservation for MBCs within the quota existing for OBCs in proportion to their number. The committee comprising of retired judge Raghvendra Kumar, former bureaucrat JP Vishwakarma, economics professor at BHU Bhupendra Singh and senior advocate Ashok Rajbhar, has been given two months' time to submit their inclusive report.
Notably, there is a provision of 27 % reservation for backwards in government jobs. However, only a few, especially Yadavs, are reaping its benefit to the fullest and members of a number of castes which fall in the category of 'most backward' are far away from the benefits of reservation.
The common refrain is that in all 60 MBCs, including Ghosi, nishad, kashyap, bhind, darzi, kamboj, ghosi, rajbhars and a number of others, hardly anyone benfits by the quota provisions. OP Rajbhar, senior cabinet minister in Yogi Adityanath government, keeps on raising the quota disparities claiming that MBCs, who need reservation in true sense, keep on suffering and OBS walk off with the cream.
Even Rajanth Singh, during his tenure as UP CM had tried get a quota for MBCs, and mahadalits carved out from the existing provisions in 2002 but the move failed to take off as Rajnath's government fell soon after that.
Then the BJP rivals had approached courts against the proposed move. Even the decision taken by the present dispensation is sure to rattle the political players in UP, including the SP, which has a considerable support base among OBCs, especially Yadavs. "The present committee, however, has been asked to base its recommendations on a Supreme Court ruling (1993) in the Indira Sahni case in which the court had justified a separate quota within quota for most backwards," said a senior official.
"We want to minimise the disparities. All the backward and most backward castes should get the benefits equally," said BJP spokesman Dr Chandra Mohan.
However, a senior SP leader expressed doubts over government's initiative. "We have been reiterating that all the castes should get attached with Adhaar and should get quota as per their representation in the society. It will rest all the issues over quota to OBCs and MBCs," said the SP leader.