No 10 per cent EWS quota in TN; parties to ask SC to review ruling
The meeting rejected the 103rd Constitutional Amendment providing for 10% EWS quota, saying it created caste-based discrimination among the poor.
Published: 13th November 2022 04:39 AM | Last Updated: 13th November 2022 04:39 AM | A+A A-
CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy, after a meeting of legislature parties held under Chief Minister M K Stalin in Chennai on Saturday, said the State government would not implement 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and 69% reservation would continue in the state. The meeting rejected the 103rd Constitutional Amendment providing for 10% EWS quota, saying it created caste-based discrimination among the poor.
Explaining the rationale for the State government’s decision to not implement EWS quota even after the SC upholding it, the minister said, “The SC did not ask the State governments to implement this. It is applicable only to central government jobs and educational institutions.” While leaders of DMK, Congress, CPM, CPI, PMK, VCK, MDMK, MMK, TVK and KNMDK took part in the meeting, AIADMK and BJP boycotted it.
Leaders of most of the parties that took part in the meeting decided to file review petitions in their individual capacity and agreed to support the steps to be taken by the Tamil Nadu government in protecting social justice.Few leaders suggested that the Tamil Nadu government should examine the possibility of filing a review petition on its own.
However, Ponmudy said as of now, there are no legal provisions. But when review petitions filed by political parties come up for hearing, the State government would extend legal assistance.Speaking at the meeting, the CM said accepting 10% reservation for EWS would pave way for destroying the very basis of social justice in the long run and would eventually make economic status the sole criterion for everything.
Stalin referred to the observation of former SC judge O Chinnappa Reddy that reservation is not a poverty alleviation scheme. Many verdicts of the SC in the past had pointed out that the purpose of reservation is to help socially oppressed sections of the society that were denied opportunities in education and employment.
On AIADMK boycotting the meeting, Ponmudy said, AIADMK leaders MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa had consistently upheld the social justice principles during their tenures as CMs. After Jayalalithaa’s death too, the AIADMK MPs in Parliament opposed the EWS reservation. But now, the AIADMK has boycotted this meeting and we don’t know the reason behind it.
We expect that the AIADMK too would file a review petition challenging this reservation. Already, 90% of the people in Tamil Nadu have been covered under reservation. The people of Tamil Nadu would not accept AIADMK acting in support of the BJP in this regard, he said.
Congress legislature party leader K Selvaperunthagai said the judges who gave the verdict themselves had different views, particularly regarding the exclusion of OBCs and SC/STs from the EWS. Reservation is being given in each State according to the situation prevailing in that state. The Congress high command had said that it would review its stand on EWS, he said.
K Balu (PMK) said the CM has promised that if there is a legal possibility for the State to file a review petition against the SC verdict, it would be done.VCK president Thol Thirumavalavan said since EWS is a national issue, the CM should hold consultations with his counterparts of other states in challenging this reservation.
OBCs should understand that this reservation is more against them than the SCs/STs and should come forward to protest against it. Since the SC itself allowed exceeding the 50% limit for reservation by clearing the EWS, the State government should hike the reservation for SCs from 18% to 20% and the quota for OBCs should also be hiked.
Nagai Mali (CPM) said since 1990, the CPM had been insisting that reservations should be given to EWS. Though the CPM supported the EWS quota, it did not accept the income ceiling fixed for availing of this reservation.
In Tamil Nadu, 95% of the people have already been covered under reservation and 10% of reservations for the rest of the 5% of people could not be accepted. So, a Commission should be appointed in Tamil Nadu to study how this reservation could be implemented in the State.
Velmurugan said his party had requested the CM to conduct caste census in Tamil Nadu so that all castes would be getting their due share of reservation. He also said the Tamil Nadu government should implement reservations in the private sector too.