Tamil Nadu meet rejects EWS quota
An all-party meeting in Tamil Nadu, chaired by chief minister M.K. Stalin, on Saturday said it rejected the 10 per cent quota for the Economically Weaker Sections on the ground that it created caste discrimination among the poor.
The meeting, boycotted by principal Opposition AIADMK and its ally BJP, urged the state government to register its opinion when a review petition is filed against the November 8 five-judge Supreme Court bench verdict upholding the EWS reservation brought by the Centre.
The ruling DMK had announced it would file a review petition. “We reject the 103rd constitutional amendment providing 10 per cent reservation to castes that have progressed since it is against the social justice envisioned by the Constitution, against various apex court verdicts, and for creating caste discrimination among the poor,” the all-party meeting said.
The parties said while they supported poverty alleviation schemes, “we will not allow the basic values of social justice concept to be shattered”.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, higher education minister K. Ponmudy said those who attended the meeting extended support to the issue.
The DMK’s allies — Congress, Left parties, MDMK, and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi — besides NDA constituent Pattali Makkal Katchi participated in the meeting.
He questioned the absence of the AIADMK, pointing out that its stalwarts, the late chief ministers M.G. Ramachandran and J. Jayalalithaa, always stood for social justice.
In his address, Stalin said the Constitution had mandated social and educational backwardness as the measure for reservation. Taking on critics of reservation, he said those who had complained of compromise in merit were now welcoming the 10 per cent quota.
“I don’t need to elaborate on the subtlety. Neither do I want to talk about the political benefits aimed in this. Whatever may be their (BJP-led NDA) intention, reservation based on economic status is contrary to social justice, contrary to the Constitution,” Stalin said.