"When there are no jobs, what is the meaning of reservation?" Ram Gopal Yadav asked
Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav on Wednesday demanded 54 per cent quota for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs), saying the government had opened the doors for that by breaching the 50 per cent barrier on reservations set by the Supreme Court.
While supporting the constitution amendment bill to provide 10 per cent quota for upper castes in government service and higher educational institutions, he said the OBCs were given reservation corresponding to only half their population to ensure that the 50 per cent cap is not breached.
"But when you have broken the barrier of 50 per cent as set by the Supreme Court, I request that OBCs should be given 54 per cent reservation as per their population as opposed to 27 per cent now. Also, the population of Scheduled Castes is also now 25 per cent and they should be given reservation accordingly," he said in the Rajya Sabha during a debate on the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019 which was passed in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
He added that the Bill would not bring the results that the government was promising as the cut offs under the reserved class would be even higher than the general quota "as you would see in one year when public service commission results are announced".
He also questioned the timing of the Bill saying it could have been brought any time over the last four and a half years and was yet brought on the last session of Parliament before the Lok Sabha polls.
"The government's goal is not to help the poor. This bill is brought by the government with eyes at 2019 elections. Had you (government) been honest, this Bill would have been brought some two-three years back so that people would have actually benefited from it," Mr Yadav said.
The Samajwadi Party leader also asked the government to improve implementation of reservation for SCs and STs.
"Even after so many years of reservation, do they have enough representation in government jobs," he asked.
He added that the new 10 per cent reservation for upper castes won't yield desired and promised results because there were not enough jobs in the market as "many jobs were lost due to demonetisation".
"When there are no jobs, what is the meaning of reservation?"