K'taka delays quota for economically weaker sections

Karnataka govt drags its feet on quota for economically weaker sections

At least eight states in India have offered reservation for economically weaker sections already

Representative image. Credit: DH Photo

Draft guidelines to implement reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of the society are ready, but the government is seemingly dragging its feet. 

The delay has irked the opposition who sought to know why the government was not keen on implementing reservation for EWS, even though several neighbouring states had done so already. Sources, meanwhile, also hint at ‘political reasons’ for the government’s reluctance to announce reservation till date.

H S Sachidananda Murthy, Chairman, Karnataka State Brahmin Development Board told DH that draft guidelines for reservation were ready and will be implemented after discussion in the state Cabinet.

Along with a report submitted by the chief secretary, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has discussed it with the departments of Backward Classes Welfare and Social Welfare.

Modalities of reservation have been scrutinised by the Backward Classes Commission, too, Murthy said, adding that the report will be implemented soon. “This will help students, especially those pursuing professional courses, in the coming academic year,” he said.

At least eight states have offered reservation for EWS already.

While the previous Congress-JD(S) coalition was ready to implement the NDA government decision, senior Congress leader R V Deshpande alleged that the state was dragging its feet over the issue.

“The chief secretary has submitted his report on reservation a few months ago and is lying at the Chief Minister’s Office. Why is the state government shy to implement the reservation?” Deshpande asked.

Sources said that while the government was keen on implementing reservation to EWS, it was delayed due to ‘political reasons’. “Reservation provided should be proportional to the population of these communities in the state. In Karnataka, around 1.5 to 2% reservation can be provided under EWS,” sources said.

There is opposition from within the government over implementing the decision which will benefit only a handful of communities, especially when movements of Other Backward Classes seeking an increase in reservation was gaining steam, sources added.