Deve Gowda announces support for 10% upper caste quota

Gowda spelt out his party’s stand even as the Opposition, including his Karnataka coalition partner Congress, has dismissed the move as “politically-motivated.” File photo

The HD Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) has welcomed the Modi administration’s decision to provide 10% reservation in jobs and educational institutions for the economically-backward sections in the general category (upper caste).

Gowda spelt out his party’s stand even as the Opposition, including his Karnataka coalition partner Congress, has dismissed the move as “politically-motivated.”

On Tuesday morning Gowda tweeted: “Janata Dal (Secular) supports the 10% reservation in jobs and educational institutions for economically weaker sections of the upper castes. We have always stood for, and will continue to stand for the betterment of the underprivileged and weaker sections of the society.”

It may be noted that the JD(S)-Congress coalition in Karnataka, led by Gowda’s son HD Kumaraswamy, has earmarked Rs 25 crore in the budget for a Karnataka State Brahmin Development Board.

In a contrasting stand, Karnataka Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge of the Congress dubbed the Centre’s move as ultra vires. “10% reservations for economically-backward sections of society might not stand judicial scrutiny. This additional 10% will violate the ceiling of 50% affixed by Supreme Court. A Constitutional amendment will be required. Until then this (is) another jumla & lollipop by Narendra Modi,” Kharge said in a tweet.

The BJP’s upper caste gamble comes in the backdrop of the reverses the party suffered in the Assembly elections in three Hindi heartland states — Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh — where upper castes were reportedly up in arms over the purported excessive Dalit tilt in recent times.

The move could be a double-edged sword for the BJP, which has in the last four-and-half years of the Modi government, sought to reach out in a big way to OBCs and Dalits and shed the “Brahmin Baniya” tag associated with it.

The Congress in Karnataka faced a similar double-edged sword when the previous Siddaramaiah-led regime approved ‘religious minority’ tag to the dominant Lingayat faith. As it turned out in the May 2018 Assembly polls, the Congress lost many seats in the Lingayat-dominated constituencies, especially North Karnataka.

 

Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi? Who will win the battle royale of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019


Get real-time news updates, views and analysis on Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on Deccanherald.com/news/lok-sabha-elections-2019 


Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram with #DHPoliticalTheatre for live updates on the Indian general elections 2019.

Comments (+)