Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government is mulling a proposal to provide quota within quota to 18 OBC sub-castes whose proposed inclusion in the Scheduled Castes list has been struck down by the Allahabad High Court on the grounds of being unconstitutional.
The government is planning reservation within the 27 per cent OBC quota bracket to these sub-castes.
Though the final contours of the proposal are yet to be decided, sources said that the proposal will have to be taken up in the state cabinet besides getting it passed in both houses of Uttar Pradesh Assembly as a Bill before sending it to the Centre for its final approval.
The 18 sub-castes in question include Majhwar, Kahar, Kashyap, Kevat, Mallah, Nishad, Kumhar, Prajapati, Dheevar, Bind, Bhar, Rajbhar, Dhiman, Batham, Turha, Godia, Manjhi and Machhua.
“The state government certainly wishes to provide relief to these sub-castes,” a senior minister said.
The sub-castes like Kevat, Mallah, Bind, Nishad and Manjhi broadly come under the Nishad community, which, as a matter of fact, has been demanding a SC status for quite some time.
He said that as far as inclusion of the said OBC sub-castes in the SC list was concerned, it will have to be done under Article 341 of the Indian Constitution.
Sources in the government said that the ruling BJP did not seek to disturb the SC list while provisioning statutory sanctity to the 18 OBC sub-castes, who are unable to get reservation benefits because of their poor socio-economic conditions.
In 2018, the state government had constituted a four-member committee under the chairmanship of retired judge Raghavendra Kumar to report on the economic, social and educational studies of the backward classes and their participation in jobs.
The committee has recommended division of 27 per cent reservation for backward classes into three parts. It had recommended 7 per cent reservation for the backward, 11 per cent for the more backward and 9 per cent for the most backward.
OBCs collectively form the largest voting bloc in Uttar Pradesh and constitute about 45 per cent of the total population.
However, the more powerful Backward Classes — Yadavs, Patels and Jats — have been alleged to corner a bulk of the jobs/admissions to state institutions.
In 2001, when Rajnath Singh was the chief minister of the state, a committee headed by Hukum Singh had recommended sub-categorisation of OBCs, allocating only 5 per cent reservation to Yadavs and 14 per cent to MBCs. This was stayed by the state high court.