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Karunanidhi appeals to counterparts on quota

Written by: Staff

Chennai, Oct 26: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today appealed his counterparts of all states to oppose the trend against reservation and social justice in the backdrop of the Supreme Court order asking the states to restrict reservation to 50 per cent.

In a letter to the Chief Ministers, he urged them to take expeditious steps at this critical and historic hour to protect the interests of the socially and educationally Backward classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and save them from the disastrous consequences.

''All the states have a compelling reason to oppose this trend against Reservation and social justice. I very seriously consider that it is all the more important and necessary for the states to impress upon the Centre and implead themselves in the case which is coming up for hearing before the Constitutional Bench on October 30'', he said.

A strong votary for reservation and social justice, Mr Karunanidhi also enclosed a copy of his letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

On receipt of the letter, Ms Gandhi had taken immediate action by forwarding his suggestions to the Ministry of Human Resources Development, he pointed out.

Mr Karunanidhi said in its recent judgement in M.Nagaraj and others versus Union of India and others case, the Supreme Court had ruled that even if a state had compelling reasons, it should ensure that Reservation was not in excess, breaching the ceiling limit of 50 per cent, obliterate the creamy layer or extend the benefit indefinitely.

''This judgement of the Supreme Court runs obviously against the spirit of our Constitution. In the preamble to the Constitution, it has been asserted to secure to all its citizens Justice, Social, Economic and Political. Also the Constitution contemplates Reservation for only socially and educationally Backward Classes and not for any economically Backward classes'', he pointed out.

The socially and educationally Backward classes were under yoke for several centuries and only after Independence, that too after Reservation was incorporated in the Constitution, the doors of Government services and educational institutions were opened up for these classes.

Observing that these classes have been gradually rising in social strata in the last 50 years, Mr Karunanidhi said the judgements of the Supreme Court have come as a great shock to them as the ladder provided to them by way of Reservation was pulled down.

Mr Karunanidhi said in the same judgement, the Supreme Court had observed that Reservation had to be used in a limited sense. Otherwise, it would perpetuate casteism in the country. ''Casteism has been prevalent in our country for thousands of years, despite a number of revolts and campaigns to abolish it. Casteism is an in-built mechanism in the religion itself. Therefore, continuing Reservation will not perpetuate casteism, as Reservation has been in force only for the last 50 years'', he said.

In the letter, He said the population of socially and educationally Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the States should be over 70 per cent.

''Your state would have naturally provided Reservation in education and employment for the downtrodden and depressed classes.

You are aware that there is a set-back caused to this system of Reservation by certain judgements of the Supreme Court'', he said.

''Now the matter is being taken for consideration by the nine Judge Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court. Any law enacted and brought under the 9th Schedule of the Constitution under Article-31(B) is also under attack'', he said.

Mr Karunanidhi said considering the urgency of the matter, he urged the Chief Ministers to take immediate action by getting themselves impleaded in the case when it comes up for hearing on October 30 to protect the Reservation already in force in the states for the welfare of the deprived classes.


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