Amend The Constitution To Give ‘20-25 Per Cent’ Reservation To Poor From General Category: Athawale

Amend The Constitution To Give ‘20-25 Per Cent’ Reservation To Poor From General Category: Athawale Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale. (Vijayanand Gupta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale has suggested reservation upto 20-25 per cent for poor people in the general category, the Indian Express has reported.

Athawale leads the Republican Party of India (A), an Ambedkarite party. The party is a part of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and allied to the BJP in Maharastra.

"The atrocities on Dalits have increased and I believe one reason for this is reservation," he told PTI.

"I believe that the poor from the general category should get reservation in education and jobs. This will help make the situation better and will also keep a check on the caste system," he said.

A report in the Business Standard, citing data provided by the Planning Commission, had noted that the poverty among backward communities had seen a steep decline in the recent years, with levels beginning to resemble the national levels especially for the SCs and OBCs.

Reservations are a hot topic in the country, with a Supreme Court mandated limit of 50 per cent in education and government jobs, as per an order in 1992. However, the Supreme Court has allowed for the cap to be breached if a state can back up the need for reservation beyond 50 per cent with data.

Rajasthan had recently sought to breach the limit, increasing reservations to 54 per cent from the current 49 per cent, in a bill which raises the share for Gujjars and four other backward committees. The Supreme Court has refused to stay the bill, but has asked the government to ensure that the 50 per cent cap is not exceeded.