Mayawati hails SC decision but demands quota for upper caste poor

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New Delhi, Apr 10 (UNI) In a further bid to expand her party's upper caste base, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP supremo Mayawati today demanded reservation for the poor of the high castes too while hailing Supreme Court judgement on OBC quota.

Ms Mayawati, who is under allround attack of the Congress, also wanted redefinition of the creamy layer ''in view of the high cost of living'', and also quota for religious minorities.

''I am writing to the Central government to give quota to those who belonged to high castes but were poor, and also to those belonging to religious minorities,'' she told at a news conference here.

The demand by Ms Mayawati, whose strategy in accommodating a large number of upper castes in distributing party ticket in the last Assembly election paid her dividend in terms of electoral gains, is being seen as a further attempt to consolidate her ''social engineering'' aimed at denting the traditional vote bank of the Congress and the BJP.

She said the Constitution should be amended to give quota to the poor of upper castes.

The BSP chief wanted that the ''creamy layer'' should be redefined to narrow its application in view of the increasing cost of living, ''so that the OBCs who really needed protection were not left out of the reservation benefit under its pretext.'' The apex court in its judgement upheld the constitutional validity of the amendment providing 27 per cent reservation to the OBCs in the higher educational institutions, but said the creamy layer should be excluded from the benefit.

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