Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Welcomes Supreme Court Verdict On EWS Reservation

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Monday welcomed the Supreme Court’s verdict upholding the validity of the reservation to the economically weaker sections (EWS) and said Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Scheduled Castes (SC) should get benefit of the existing quota for them on the basis of their population.

The Constitution says that the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe should get the reservation as per their population and according to the Mandal report, the backward section should get 27 per cent of reservation.

We support the decision on Upholding 10 per cent reservation for the EWS by SC,” Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel told reporters here after his return from Himachal Pradesh election campaign.”

Talking to reporters at the Swami Vivekananda Airport in Raipur after returning from campaigning in the poll-bound Himachal Pradesh, Baghel said a political “change” is inevitable in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled northern state and the promise of ’10 guarantees’ made by his party Congress in the hill state has started showing impact.

Speaking about the tribal reservation quota reduced from 32 per cent to 20 per cent in Chhattisgarh following a High Court order, Baghel blamed it on the BJP stating, “The sin of reservation quota slashed to 20 per cent is committed by the BJP, which we will rectify.

The tribal community leaders came to meet me and I have assured them that they will get all the facilities under the Constitution and no one can refrain them from their rights.”

Asked about the apex court’s landmark judgement upholding the constitutionality of the 10 per cent reservation granted by the Centre to EWS in admissions and government jobs, the senior Congress leader said, “We welcome the verdict.

We want that as per the provision of the Constitution, ST and SC communities should get reservation on the basis of their population.” “As per the Mandal Commission report, Other Backward Classes (OBCs) should get 27 per cent reservation. We support 10 per cent reservation to EWS,” he added.

The nominees will be discussing with me and other seniors in the party which would be further discussed by the committee. We are sure the people of Bhanupratappur would bless us just like the previous bypolls held in Dantewada, Marwahi and Khairagarh which were earlier won by BJP and Janata Congress respectively,” Baghel said.

Referring to the probable Congress candidate for Bhanupratappur bypoll (ST seat) scheduled on December 5, the chief minister said that the selection of the candidate is done by the central election committee and the high command.

Notably, the Chhattisgarh High Court in September this year had set aside the state government’s 2012 order (when BJP was in power) to raise the quota to 58 per cent in government jobs and admissions in educational institutions and held that overall reservation exceeding the apex court-mandated 50 per cent ceiling was unconstitutional.

Following the HC decision, reservation for tribal communities, which comprise about 32 per cent of Chhattisgarh’s population, declined to 20 per cent from 32 per cent.

Queried about the reservation benefits for STs in the Congress-ruled state, Baghel said, “This decline in reservation of tribals to 20 per cent happened due to the BJP and now we will rectify it.”

 “I have clearly told tribal communities that whatever is provisioned in the Constitution (for reservation), they will get it and no one can stop it,” the CM said.

Baghel, senior Congress observer for the Assembly polls in Himachal Pradesh, said a “wave of change” is sweeping the BJP-ruled state and the impact of his party’s promise of 10 guarantees in the manifesto is visible on the ground. 

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