New Delhi: Ten per cent in government jobs and government educational institutions will now be reserved for upper caste Hindus, Muslims and Christians who are economically backward as President Ram Nath Kovind stamped on this landmark bill passed by parliament this week.
The bill was introduced by the government amid criticism by the opposition which said the move was a pre-election trick to woo upper caste voters. However, with elections just months away, no major political party dared to oppose the bill directly and it was passed by the opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha barring RJD and AIDMK.
Though the bill also applies to people from all religions, the new public sector job quota and reservation in government colleges is expected to mainly benefit the upper echelons of the Hindu caste system, which has traditionally been a core voter base for the BJP.
Under the new amendment to the constitution, floated by the BJP weeks after three state election defeats, people with an annual income below Rs. 8 lakh and owning fewer than five acres of land would be eligible.
The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday and by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.