Minister of state for social justice and empowerment in Modi’s cabinet, Ramdas Athawale has hit the headlines for making statements about reservation for scheduled caste and scheduled tribe categories. The minister has said that one of the reasons behind atrocities on Dalits is reservation and has demanded reservation for SC and ST in the Rajya Sabha cabinet of union ministers.
In August, he had raised his voice for reservation for these categories in the Indian Army and a month prior to that, in the national cricket team. Now he has put forward a demand to extend the reservation to economically backward people without making any changes in the existing reservation for SC and STs. Athawale has requested the government and political parties to settle the issue of reservation once and for all and consider his suggestions in a positive way.
Financial Express has quoted the minister saying,
When I was in the Lok Sabha, I had demanded that the way reservation exists there with some constituencies reserved for SCs and STs, similarly reservations should be there in the Rajya Sabha and also in the Union Cabinet. Earlier, the prime minister could induct as many ministers as he wished…later a law (constitution amendment) was made (to cap it). It is our demand that reservation be introduced in the Union Cabinet also…let’s see what happens in the future.
The minister reemphasized his demand for raising reservation in government jobs and educational institutions to 75 per cent saying that his party is in support of quotas for economically backward people belonging to all castes.
Athawale also said that the demand for reservation by Marathas as a separate category is “good” and would not create disturbance in the present reservations for OBC category. Athawale further said,
Without touching the 50 per cent reservation cap put by the Supreme Court on quotas for SC, ST and OBC a law should be made to provide 25 per cent reservation to economically backward people of all communities.