In April-May, an estimated 90 crore Indians will exercise their voting rights in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Will Narendra Modi return to power? Will Rahul Gandhi beat expectations and win? Will a Third Front government emerge? All these crucial questions will be answered in the first half of 2019. After sweeping the Uttar Pradesh state election in 2017, Modi was seen as an invincible leader whose popularity seem to lie in a clean and credible image. However, in the later half of 2018, the party suffered a setback as it lost three of Hindi heartland states to Congress.
Clearly, to win a second term in office, the party has a big task in hand. The BJP stormed to power with an electoral promise of Acche Din, a robust economy, a corruption free governance and a promise of creating crore of jobs. And after four years at the national level, the party will be again trying to inject the government into everything.
Despite the fact that Congress may have added a few percentage points to its credit, the overwhelming odds are still with Modi. This decision of PM Modi proves just this.
Months before the elections, the BJP has approved a 10 per cent reservation for economically backward upper castes in government jobs and education. The proposal would be under general category, and for this the government will amend Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution. These two amendments will provide reservation of not more than 10 per cent to the economically weaker sections among castes that fall under the general category.
Here is the reservation criterion for a person to be qualified as economically weaker. This qualification will be based on the value of assets held by a person and/or their annual income.
- Their annual income is below Rs 8 lakh,
- They own agricultural land of less than five hectres
- They own homes smaller than 1,000 sq. ft.
- They own residential plots below 109 yards in notified municipality
- They own residential plot below 209 yards in non notified municipality area
However, for this the government needs to pass bills in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
As expected, as soon as the decision was out, various political leaders and public in general came out with their reactions.
Rajya Sabha MP KTS Tulsi, called it a “joke” and accused the Modi government of trying to “fool the people”. However, Union minister and BJP ally Ramdas Athawale called it a very good decision, which would help large section of society. Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi alleged it as an election gimmick, while union minister, Shiv Pratap Shukla, said the party had got considerable votes from the upper castes in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Here is the reaction on Twitter:
Congratulations to honourable Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi for moving in this direction.
— Prof Subhendu Thakur (@ThakurSubhendu) January 7, 2019
This is long due , in fact all the reservation has to be based on economic conditions
— Vikas (@VSanjit) January 7, 2019
Time to cheers
— Kumar Ajay (@8KumarAjay) January 7, 2019
— Himanshu Dubey (@brahminji) January 7, 2019
Then, why only 10%, talk about removal of the existing one also, right?
And, yes, Congress = Corruption and Kejriwal shaking hands with Congress means Kejriwal shaking hands with Corruption.
— CA Satya Prasad🇮🇳 (@_Sayta) January 7, 2019
😂😂😂 “fat gayi kuchh logon ki”
— sanjay jha 🇮🇳 (@sanjayj64920312) January 7, 2019
Unprecedented change in the reservation policy by PM @narendramodi. In a major boost to the poor, rising above divisive caste based politics, a 10% quota has been approved for the economically backward. Big win for the nation!! Sab ka saath, sab ka Vikas!!
— Priti Gandhi (@MrsGandhi) January 7, 2019
The move to provide 10% reservation to economically weaker section can turn out be a master stroke. It politically dampens SC ST Act rhetoric. It is progressive, a step in direction of Article 14 of the Constitution . Good work PM @narendramodi led govt. #CasteFreeQuota
— Pradeep Bhandari (@pradip103) January 7, 2019
इससे दलितों व स्वर्णो के बीच टकराव भी कम होगा।#सही_निर्णय
— Manoj singh (@Manojsi270688) January 7, 2019
BJP and the spokies have to be proactive to ensure that the oppostion doesnt play naughty and start spreading rumours that this 10% will be from the existing 50% reservation quota and spread fear amongst others……
— Prasanna Kumar (@Raininmypalm) January 7, 2019
It’s a really masterstroke by Modi ji
If it happens accordingly.
No political party can dare to oppose it for survival in politics of this country in current scenario ..
— DILIP BHATTACHARYA (@bhattachadilip) January 7, 2019
However, there were also some who said the decision is just a ‘joomla.’
10% #Reservation for economically weaker sections is a MASTER-JUMLA
Modi govt failed at giving jobs. If there are no jobs in the first place, what will any caste, any economic section get? 10% of Zero is still a Zero.
— Dhruv Rathee (@dhruv_rathee) January 7, 2019
It’s a big big lollipop. There is no provision of reservation on economic ground in our constitution coz the constitution permits reservation on the basis of caste. #Modi govt will have to make amendment in article 15&16 for this. #reservationuppercastes #reservation
— Rajat Tweets (@rajat_sharma4) January 7, 2019