CPM opposes EWS quota criteria,says not benefiting poor

The CPI(M), which supported the Bill in Parliament, said it was "typical" of this government's "undemocratic approach" that it did not put the criteria before Parliament when it was discussing the constitutional amendment bill. (PTI File Photo)

With the government all set to roll out the 10% quota for economically weaker sections (EWS) from February 1, the CPI(M) on Friday opposed the criteria set for identifying the poor saying it is a "mockery of the very concept" of EWS.

In a statement, the party Polit Bureau demanded that the government not operationalise the quota without bringing in appropriate legislation on criteria.

According to the government's executive order, families who have a gross annual income of Rs 8 lakh or below are eligible. Those not eligible for reservation benefits include, families which have 5 acres of agricultural land or more, those who have a residential flat of 1000 sq feet or more, those who have a residential plot of 100 sq yards or more in a notified municipality and those who have a plot of 200 sq yards or more in areas other than the notified municipalities.

"The CPI(M) opposes these criteria. It makes a mockery of the very concept of economically weaker sections. The government is not accepting even a minimum wage of 18,000 rupees and here it is including an income of almost 70,000 rupees a month for the benefit of reservations. This criteria will deprive weaker sections of any benefits which will be cornered by the better off," the statement said.

"It is also entirely wrong of the government to use the same criteria it has used for OBC creamy layer category. The criteria for those sections include the most important point that these sections are also socially deprived which does not apply to the general category," it said.

The CPI(M), which supported the Bill in Parliament, said it was "typical" of this government's "undemocratic approach" that it did not put the criteria before Parliament when it was discussing the constitutional amendment bill. Instead of waiting for the parliament session already convened on January 31 to begin, it has pushed through an executive order in an "arbitrary and illegal manner".

"The Polit Bureau urges the government that without appropriate legislation of the parliament, it should not allow the operationalisation of the provision of this executive order," it added.

Parliament had in the last days of Winter Session in January first week amended the Constitution to provide quota for economically weaker sections. Though almost the entire Opposition supported the move, they criticised the move by the government at the "last minute" just before Lok Sabha elections.

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CPM opposes EWS quota criteria,says not benefiting poor

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