EWS reservation: Kerala parties divided, church flays Congress and IUML stand

While the SNDP, IUML and KPMS had opposed the decision, the government has made it clear that it won’t affect the existing benefits for any category.
Vellappally Natesan and Kunhalikutty
Vellappally Natesan and Kunhalikutty
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The Kerala government on October 21 had given approval for ten per cent reservation for the economically weaker section (EWS) in the general category in government jobs and for admissions in educational institutions. This is in accordance with what the Union government decided.

The decision has triggered some strong reactions. The Sunni Yuvanjana Sangham (SYS), a feeder organisation of Sunni faction led by Kanthapuram AP Aboobacker Musliar has warned the government of strong agitation if the government doesn’t not revoke its decision. The Kanthapuram faction of the Sunni sects has been a supporter of the CPI(M).

The SYS's stand is that the reservation for general category is against the general reservation norms and that it would adversely impact the reservation for backward classes.

However Joseph Perumthottam, Arcbishop of the Changanassery Syro Malabar Church, in a statement issued on Wednesday said that it has been understood that the government has implemented the reservation surpassing huge social and political pressure. He termed it a welcoming move.

According to the government decision, the criteria for eligibility for reservation will be family income and the economic backwardness.  

“It’s regretful that some united community forces object this justice, delayed though, got for the people that forms 27 per cent of the population of the state and that had been outside the purview of reservation. It can’t be believed that they are opposing it for any kind of ideology,” the statement read.

The Bishop also flayed the Indian Union Muslim League’s (IUML) stand on the reservation calling it communal.

The Bishop has also flayed the United Democratic Front led by the Congress, the Opposition in the state, asking if the alliance has weakened to the level of not able to a principled stand in various issues including reservation.

Meanwhile State Secretary of the CPI, Kanam Rajendran said that the IUML has a political aim and the Congress is free to support them.

The Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam, an organisation that represents the Other Backward Category (OBC) community Ezhava, had demanded that the reservation for the general category be reduced from ten to 5 per cent. 

However SNDP Yogam General Secretary Vellappally Natesan on Wednesday said that he has no plans to join hands with the IUML in protest against the reservation, though it opposes the reservation in principle.

Kerala Pulayar Maha Sabha (KPMS) had also opposed the decision. The IUML, SNDP and KPMS had accused the Left government of betraying the interests of historically marginalised communities.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, says that the new law doesn't undermine the existing benefits of any category.

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