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TN quota push

New Delhi, Jan. 10: The Tamil Nadu government today defended in the Supreme Court its decision to reserve 69 per cent seats for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes in all educational institutions in the state.

The DMK-led regime rejected suggestions that vote-bank politics had prompted the move to bring in a law to enforce the quota, well beyond the 50 per cent limit set by the apex court.

An affidavit by a government department said the “will” of the people, as “reflected by a constitutional amendment”, was “deemed to be reasonable”.

The state already had reservations in government institutions. But after the Centre’s 93rd constitutional amendment act enabled states to draw up laws extending reservation to OBCs in central institutions, the Tamil Nadu government enacted the Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Tribes (reservation of seats in private educational institutions) Bill, 2006.

The DMK-led government justified the move, saying 88 per cent of the state’s population was backward. It refused to implement the creamy layer concept, meant to keep the affluent sections out, saying it was “impossible” to weed out the “real creamy layer” as “dubious” methods had been adopted to stay out of the category.

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