The union cabinet has decided to give 10 per cent reservation to economically backward members of the upper castes in government jobs. Those belonging to the economically weaker upper castes and earning less than Rs8 lakh per year will be eligible for reservation benefits, according to the decision taken by the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
While details of the proposed reservation are not disclosed the new quota for the economically backward in general category will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation, sources said.
The government will now move to amend the Constitution in order to grant 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker upper castes.
The government is likely to bring constitutional amendment bill on quotas for economically weaker sections in Parliament on Tuesday, reports quoting sources said.
The cabinet decision once made effective through legislation will bring the benefits of reservation in government jobs to the economically backward among the so-called upper castes.
The development is also significant as it comes ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha elections, which is likely to be held between April and May.
The Union Cabinet's decision is being viewed as a big political masterstroke by the ruling BJP to consolidate its position among several disgruntled upper caste communities ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha polls.
Several NDA allies, including Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP and RPI led by Ramdas Athawale, had in past demanded reservation for the economically backward upper caste members in government jobs.
The Supreme Court has capped at 50 per cent the quota for caste-based reservation for government jobs.