The Bihar government led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has hiked reservations in the state to 75 per cent including 10 per cent reservation for Economic Weaker Section. It includes 20 per cent for SCs, 2 per cent for STs, 18 per cent for OBCs, and 25 per cent for EBCs.
The 65 per cent reservation limit approved by the Nitish cabinet is above than the 50 per cent limit set by the Supreme Court of India. The Bihar government’s decision came after CM Nitish Kumar announced his intent to raise quotas for Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the state.
The reservation hike comes in the wake of Bihar government’s caste based survey which also included economic status of the residents. The second part of the survey report was tabled in the assembly today that revealed some worrying facts.
According to the survey report, OBCs, including the extremely backward classes sub-group, accounted for a whopping 63 per cent of the state’s total population, while SCs and STs together were slightly over 21 per cent. The report said more than a third of families in Bihar are poor and are making do with a monthly income of Rs 6,000 or less, while the percentage of SC-ST families living on similar income is 42.
CM Nitish Kumar also said that his government is planning to provide an assistance of Rs two lakh each to the 94 lakh poor families for taking up some form of economically productive work. Meanwhile, the BJP has said that it supports the hike in the reservation. “BJP gave its full support to the increase the reservation limits in Bihar…The 16% reservation to the SC should be increased to 20%. We requested that the 1% reservation for the ST should be increased to 2%. BJP has always extended support to any party when it is for reservation…,” BJP Bihar chief Samrat Chaudhary said earlier today before the announcement of the quota hike.
Former Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Modi demanded a hike in reservation in Panchayat and civic body as well. “If the rights of the Extremely Backward Classes are not safeguarded, the increased reservation would not be beneficial to them… Ward wise and Panchayat wise data should be published… We will also raise this in the assembly… The government did not say anything about the reservation in Panchayat and civic body elections. We want them to bring a bill regarding this the day after tomorrow… In Panchayat, the reservation is 37%, but it can be easily hiked to 50% or more…,” said the Rajya Sabha MP.