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Ramdas Athawale bats for SC, ST quota in Cabinet, Rajya Sabha


Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Thursday favoured reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled tribes in the Rajya Sabha and the Union Cabinet.

Union minister Ramdas Athawale

"When I was in the Lok Sabha, I had demanded that the way reservation exists there with some constituencies reserved for SCs and STs, similarly reservations should be there in the Rajya Sabha and also in the Union Cabinet," he told reporters in Hyderabad.

The RPI leader and Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment was asked for his views on reservation in the Union Cabinet. After a Constitution amendment, the strength of the council of ministers at the Centre and in states cannot exceed 15 per cent of the strength of the lower chamber of the legislature.

"Earlier, the prime minister could induct as many ministers as he wished...later a law (constitution amendment) was made (to cap it). It is our demand that reservation be introduced in the Union Cabinet also...let's see what happens in the future," he said. Athawale reaffirmed his demand for enhancing reservation in government jobs and educational institutions to 75 per cent, saying his party supports quotas for the economically poor from all castes.

He appealed to the Centre and political parties to support enactment of a law to enhance reservation by another 25 per cent. "Without touching the 50 per cent reservation cap put by the Supreme Court on quotas for SC, ST and OBC a law should be made to provide 25 per cent reservation to economically backward people of all communities," Athawale said.

The Dalit leader from Maharashtra also sought quotas for them in the armed forces.


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