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Eyes on Lok Sabha polls, Centre okays 10% reservation for economically weaker sections

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NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi-led BJP government has decided that 10% reservation would be given to economically weaker sections. 

The cabinet has approved the proposal. This would be made possible by a constitutional amendment.

Unlike SC, ST, OBC reservation, caste will not be the criterion. This will be for jobs as well as in admissions to institutions.

Rather, the annual income of family along with the land holding (different for urban and rural areas) would be the criterion for it. The aim is to ensure that the anger among Upper Castes is contained.

Those with earning less than 8 lakh per annum will be eligible, say sources. It is being learnt that the NDA government would bring a bill to make the amendments in the constitution, especially, Article 15 and Article 16. 

The cap of reservation has been kept at 50%. Sources say that this 10% quota would be above this cap, however, it will be on economic basis within non-reserved category. BJP hopes that it would help it get a pro-poor image.

The results of the Assembly polls and the BJP's defeat in three states gave the message to the party that its core base--the higher castes were upset with the party. Hence, it has been in a damage control ever since, and planning for a way to bring them back to its fold.