Ahmedabad, Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Wednesday announced his support to the Congress in the Gujarat Assembly election after it reached an understanding with him by promising job quotas to the agitating Patel community if it comes to power.
Hardik Patel made the much-awaited announcement on behalf of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) at a crowded press conference here and said the PAAS was formally accepting the “workable formula” advanced by the Congress.
“The Congress has accepted our demand for reservations with a formula that provides for benefits equivalent to OBCs constitutionally, without disturbing the present 49 per cent quota for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and OBCs,” Patel said.
“We are accepting the formula given to us by the Congress party.”
Quota: Between promise and action falls a shadow
Article 46 allows promotion of educational and economic interests of SC, STs. But there is nothing to show Patels are educationally and socially backward. Besides, reservation on purely economic grounds is not permissible.
Congress has agreed to reservation that would be “parallel to OBCs under Article 46”. The article will be read with Article 31 C to bring in a Bill for non-reserved classes.
Hardik insists promised quota will not impinge on current 49 % quota for SC/ST and OBC groups in Gujarat.
But a big hump would be the 50 % cap set by the apex court in a 1992 judgment. Judicial precedents show courts are reluctant to extend the 50 per cent cap.
To possibly put this reservation law in the ninth schedule, so that it can evade judicial review