The Rajya Sabha last night passed the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019 to provide 10 per cent reservation in jobs and educational institutions to the economically weaker sections in the general category. The bill was passed after over nine hours of intense debate in an emotionally surcharged environment. Though the opposition accused the BJP-led NDA brining this legislation at this late hour only intending political out-come in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls with out giving scope for detailed discussion and examination, they were left no scope to oppose tactically.
With successful passage of the bill that covers economically weaker sections among the upper castes, the BJP and the Congress have returned to the drawing board to redraw their poll strategy for 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The BJP, with this political “masterstroke”, plans to reach out to over 97 per cent of the electorate. The communities that stand to benefit from the Bill include Brahmins, Marathas, Rajputs, Jats, Bhumihars, Baniyas, Kapus, Kammas, Nairs and Chettiars to name a few.
A day after the Bill was passed in the Lower House, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a gathering in Solapur that the Bill was being brought in for the sake of social justice, making it amply clear that the BJP will make the legislation a major poll issue.
“By passing the Bill that grants 10 per cent reservation to economically weaker section in the general category, our principle of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ has been further strengthened,” PM Modi said.
But how this is going to play out in 2019 Lok Sabha elections is anybody’s guess. Already, a churning of thoughts has started among the upper castes. A narrative has started building up if this will help the minorities, especially Muslims, hog maximum benefits as a significant number don’t file IT returns and do not own big houses and big lands.