Gandhinagar: Ten percent reservation in government jobs and educational institutions will be given to the economically backward classes (EBCs) in Gujarat, the ruling BJP announced.
The reservation will be extended to all castes not covered under the existing 49 per cent for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes (OBC).
The quota will be extended to those whose annual income was Rs.6 lakh or less, Gujarat BJP president Vijay Rupani told the media at the party headquarters, flanked by Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and senior minister Nitin Patel.
An ordinance on the issue will be issued on May 1, the foundation day of Gujarat.
A bill will be introduced later in the state assembly, he said.
The decision on more reservation in Gujarat was taken in a core panel meeting chaired by national BJP president Amit Shah on Friday morning at the state Bharatiya Janata Party headquarters here.
Rupani said the state government will defend the ordinance in both the high court and the Supreme Court, if need be.
Asked about the Rs.1,000 crore Mukhyamantri Yuva Swavalamban Yojana, a financial assistance scheme for meritorious students from the economically weaker sections announced earlier by her, Anandiben Patel said the scheme will continue.
Reacting to the BJP announcement, Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki said his party's demand was for 20 percent quota for EBCs and sought the income criterion be doubled to Rs.12 lakh per annum.
He said the Congress had earlier moved a private member's bill for 20 percent reservation for economically backward classes, besides the setting up of a five-member panel to suggest ways to implement reservation for them without violating the 49 percent reservation cap.