After centre’s clearance of the upper caste reservation bill, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bihar is expecting Janata Dal-United (JDU) to take prompt action to pass the same bill in Bihar assembly before 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Bihar’s Tourism minister and BJP leader Pramod Kumar have indicated towards special assembly session on ‘10% Upper Caste Reservation’.
According to BJP leader, this decision of reservation is party’s masterstroke and has elevated moral of its leaders.
On triple talaq, JDU had differences with BJP but on the reservation to the upper caste, it has openly patted Modi’s decision.
Besides Pramod Kumar’s demand, Bihar JDU chief Bashistha Narayan Singh placed the same demand and said- State government would take an appropriate decision with regard to implementing 10% quota for upper castes in government jobs.
“The entire proposal in the form of Bill giving 10% quota to economically weaker sections among the general category is yet to come,” added Singh.
Last year also, when state JDU chief Bashishtha Narayan Singh suggested a quota for the poor among the upper caste, it was instantly opposed by JDU MLA Shyam Rajak. JDU spokesperson Neeraj Kumar took a dig on RJD tagging it as anti-minorities and upper caste party.
It may be recalled that in 1977, Karpori Thakur the then Chief Minister gave 3% reservation to economically weaker section among the upper caste in the state.
The Nitish Kumar government had formed an upper caste commission in 2011 for recommending methods to improve the economic status of the poor among upper castes. The commission submitted a report after three years but the government sat on it and dissolved the panel, only to form a new one in 2015.
RJD National Vice President Shivanand Tiwary, on the other hand, had rebutted the need of providing reservation on an economic basis. He said- There is no provision in the Constitution for providing reservation based on financial status.
Bihar BJP leaders pitching high on the reservation to upper caste can be related to last year’s anger against them displayed during the bandh sponsored by a clutch of upper caste groups which shook the party. In Patna, bandh supporters protested in front of the BJP raising anti-Narendra Modi slogans.
Within inner party circle of BJP it was claimed that party took upper caste votes for granted which backfired to an extent but BJP’s present demand of calling a special assembly session to implement ‘10% Upper Caste Reservation’ would help regain the trust of the forward castes.