Political parties in Tamil Nadu on Saturday rejected the 103rd amendment to the Constitution that paved way for a 10% quota to persons from Economically Weaker Sections in admissions and jobs, PTI reported.

“We reject the 103rd Constitutional Amendment providing 10% reservation to castes that have progressed since it is against the social justice envisioned by the Constitution, against various apex court verdicts, and for creating caste discrimination among the poor,” a resolution passed during the meeting said.

The decision was taken during an all-party meeting convened by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president MK Stalin. The meeting was boycotted by Opposition All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and its ally Bharatiya Janata Party.

Among those who attended include the Congress, the Left parties, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and National Democratic Alliance member Pattali Makkal Katchi.

The meeting was called to discuss Supreme Court’s verdict passed on Monday that had upheld the Centre’s decision to grant reservation to the Economically Weaker Sections.

In a 3-2 verdict by a Constitution bench, Justices Dinesh Maheshwari, Bela Trivedi and JB Pardiwala had upheld the quota, while UU Lalit, who was the chief justice at the time of the ruling, and Justice Rabindra Bhat dissented from the majority opinion.

On Wednesday, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam had announced it will file a review petition against the verdict.

On Saturday, political parties in Tamil Nadu said that the state government must “strongly place its opinions to ensure social justice and equality” in its review petition before the Supreme Court, according to PTI.

“We will not allow the basic values of social justice concept to be shattered,” the parties said.

EWS quota and Supreme Court verdict

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.

The petitioners before the Supreme Court had challenged the 103rd amendment that introduced changes to Articles 15 and 16, which deal with the right to equality and provide the basis for reservations.

The majority verdict of the Supreme Court 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 Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes out of its ambit as the Constitution does not allow exclusion.