‘Historical Judgment’ or ‘Social Justice Setback’? How netas of all parties reacted to the EWS verdict

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The constitutional bench of five judges. ANI

New Delhi: In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court on Monday affirmed by a 3:2 majority the validity of the 103rd constitutional amendment that provides a 10 percent reservation to people belonging to the economically weaker sections (EWS) in admissions and government jobs.

The court said the quota does not conflict with the basic structure of the Constitution.

A constitutional bench of five judges headed by Chief Justice UU Lalit issued four separate rulings on 40 petitions challenging the validity of the 103rd constitutional amendment issued by the Center in 2019.

While Judges Dinesh Maheshwari, Bela M Trivedi and JB Pardiwala upheld the law, Judge S Ravindra Bhat along with the CJI shot the same in their minority opinion.

Here’s how leaders across the political spectrum responded to the development:

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh welcomed the SC order, saying: “The amendment itself was the result of a process started in 2005-06 by the government of Dr Manmohan Singh with the appointment of the Sinho Commission that issued its report in July 2010. filed and the bill was ready in 2014.”

Maharashtra deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis said the move will create new educational and employment opportunities.

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“The Supreme Court gave a green signal to PM Modi’s 10 percent EWS reservation quota, which will create new education and employment opportunities. EWS reservation will be provided to the financially backward people who are not covered by closet reservations,” he said.

“We are also working to provide Maratha reservations in the state. Meanwhile, eligible people of the state can take advantage of benefits below the 10 percent EWS reservation,” he added.

Stalin called it a setback in the centuries-long struggle for social justice, saying: “After a thorough analysis of the verdict and consultation with legal experts, a decision will be made on the next steps to continue our fight against this system of reservation for the forward community that against social justice.”

Senior BJP leader and former Union minister Uma Bharti welcomed the decision and also demanded quotas in the private sector.

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The former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh also said that a 27 percent reservation for the other backward classes could also be implemented under special circumstances in states like MP, where the OBC population is high.

“All poor people have the same caste, they are poor. This caveat will bring unity to the country. My call is that all the needy people in the world unite and fight for a better life,” Uma Bharti said in a tweet in Hindi.

“We should also implement the reservation system in the private sector,” she said in another tweet.

Senior TMC leader and MP Saugata Roy also called the Supreme Court verdict “historic”, although chief spokesman Sukhendu Sekhar Ray declined to comment.

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Saugata Roy, the Member of Parliament for Lok Sabha, said it is a “big step towards economic equality” in the country.

“This is a historic judgment. Parliament had unanimously passed legislation to put a 10 percent reservation on economically weaker sections. That was challenged in the Supreme Court. The highest court has upheld the amendment and this is a big step towards economic equality in the country,” Roy said.

However, TMC’s chief spokesman and Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray said: “The highest court has issued a ruling and we have nothing to say about it as of now.”

Congress leader Udit Raj questioned the Supreme Court about the verdict, also calling the Supreme Court “casteist”.

“I am not against EWS reservation, but I challenge the upper caste mentality of SC. When it came to expanding the 50 percent reservation limit for SC/ST/OBC, they mentioned the 50 percent limit of the Indra Sawhney verdict. Today they quoted the Constitution that there is no limit…,” he said.

With input from agencies

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