PATNA: Despite internal rifts over the 10 per cent quota for the poor among general category, Bihar’s main Opposition party RJD is likely to oppose the move when the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government brings a legislation to implement the Constitutional amendment in the state.
After taking legal opinion, the state government has decided to roll out the new quota by introducing a separate Bill in the state legislature’s budget session next month. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has asked two top bureaucrats to thrash out the modalities of implementing the reservation in government jobs and educational institutions in the state.
The state government’s decision to take the legislature route instead of an executive order is widely seen as a ploy to put RJD to a corner on the emotive issue. But RJD sources said the party plans to oppose the state government’s Bill in the legislature on the ground that the move is not backed by sufficient supporting data.
RJD leader and former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav on Wednesday said the new reservation would “backfire on BJP” because the “bahujans” (majority communities) are feeling cheated by it. “This move by the Narendra Modi government is as thoughtless as demonetisation. BJP will have to bear its consequences,” he said.
“RJD does not have so much protest against the new reservation provision as against the system and the process that has brought it in without any panel like the Mandal Commission deliberating on population data,” said senior RJD leader Bhai Birendra.
Asserting that the Lalu Prasad Yadav-led party is “keen to see the general category prosper through appropriate quota provisions,” Birendra added: “The BJP-led NDA does not really want reservations for the upper castes. It only wants to befool the upper castes once again”. RJD would decide its stand in a meeting of MLAs in the first week of February.
“They (NDA) are calling the amendment a reservation for upper castes while it is actually for the economically backward sections in the general category. They must stop using the misleading words ‘upper caste’,” said Congress leader Premchand Mishra. “We will support it in Bihar legislature like we did in parliament, but this provision should not be called reservation for upper castes,” he added.