Gujarat 1st State to Implement 10% Upper Caste Reservation, Law in Force From Tomorrow
File image of Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani | (Photo credit: IANS)

Ahmedabad, January 13: The BJP-ruled Gujarat will be the first state in the nation to implement the 10 per cent reservation in government jobs and educational institutes, as per the legislation recently passed in both the Houses of Parliament by the Centre. The quota law will come into force from tomorrow, January 14, 2019, announced Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

Gujarat was rocked with massive protests in 2015-16, when the Patidar community revolted seeking reservation in public sector jobs and education. Erstwhile attempts by the government to placate the community by making them beneficiaries of affirmative action failed to clear judicial scrutiny. 10% Upper Caste Quota Bill Cleared by President Ram Nath Kovind.

However, with a constitution amendment law being passed by the Centre, the state is firm on fulfilling the legal criterions.

In both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, the 124th Constitution Amendment Bill -- which makes the required changes in the Constitution to increase the reservation cap -- was passed with nearly all lawmakers voting for it. Out of the 326 MPs who voted in the Lower House, 323 favoured the passage, whereas, only 3 wanted it to be struck down. In the Upper House, 165 of the 172 present lawmakers voted in favour of the Bill.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while speaking on the legislation on Saturday, said that its sole purpose is to create opportunities for those are economically weak, but are not entitled to affirmative action due to their caste. "The Bill will empower the financially weak citizens among the general category," he said.

Modi, however, also assured the SCs, STs and OBCs that the reservation being already granted to them would not be tinkered with in any manner. The Dalit community, he said, was subjected to historical injustice. "No government could ever deny reservation to them. It is their right under the Constitution," the Prime Minister told the gathering at the BJP national convention.

Among criteria for beneficiaries under the upper caste quota bill, include: annual income below Rs 8 lakh, house less than 1,000 square feet and farmland less than 5 acres (two hectares).