The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday said it will convene a meeting of political parties in the state on November 12 to discuss the Supreme Court’s verdict on reservation for the Economically Weaker Sections, PTI reported.

The meeting will be chaired by Chief Minister MK Stalin.

In 2019, the Centre had introduced the Economically Weaker Sections quota for those who cannot avail of the reservations granted to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes, but have an annual family income of less than Rs 8 lakh. Persons from families that own more than five acres of agricultural land or 1,000 square feet of residential land are not eligible for the quota.

On Monday, the Supreme Court had upheld the Centre’s decision to grant the 10% quota to persons from Economically Weaker Sections in admissions and jobs, observing that it does not violate the Constitution.

In a 3-2 verdict by a Constitution bench, Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, Bela Trivedi and JB Pardiwala had upheld the quota, while Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice Rabindra Bhat dissented from the majority opinion.

The majority verdict held that the allocation of the 10% quota fell within the powers vested with the legislature in the Constitution. On the other hand, the dissenting judges said that the quota cannot keep SC, ST and OBC categories out of its ambit as the Constitution does not allow exclusion.

While national political parties such as the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party have welcomed the Supreme Court ruling, many regional political parties, including the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, have criticised it.

“The verdict of the Supreme Court upholding EWS Quota is a setback for our century-long crusade for social justice,” Stalin tweeted on Monday. “All the like-minded parties shall come together as one to fight the social injustice called EWS quota and carry the struggle forward.”

The Pattali Makkal Katchi, the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, and the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi have also criticised the judgement, saying that economic status cannot be considered an indicator of social justice, reported Deccan Herald.

AMMK founder TTV Dhinakaran asked Stalin to ensure that the 69% reservation in Tamil Nadu is not touched, while VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan said his party will file a review petition against the verdict.

PMK president Anbumani Ramadoss said the verdict was against the principles of social justice being followed in the country.

“India is a country which has an unequal society,” he said. “To ensure equality, reservation should be provided on the basis of social status, not economic status. People’s economic status changes from time to time and reservations based on economic status will at best be a poverty alleviation programme. It will never ensure social justice.”

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has not commented on the verdict.

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Explainer: Why the Supreme Court upheld the validity of quotas for the Economically Weaker Sections