The Assam government has decided to keep in abeyance the 10% quota in state government jobs for applicants from Economically Weaker Sections, The Hindu reported on Friday.

“The pause in the EWS [Economically Weaker Sections] job quota will not affect the posts already advertised for and reservation for the category will continue for admissions in the educational institutions,” it added.

In 2019, the Union government 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.

However, 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 constitutionality of the law was challenged before the Supreme Court. However, on November 7, a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court upheld the 10% EWS quota in a 3:2 judgement.

Assam was among 12 States and Union Territories that implemented 10% job reservation to the Economically Weaker Sections. The other states were Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Telangana and Uttarakhand, according to The Hindu.

On Friday, Opposition parties in Assam criticised the state government’s move regarding the quota.

The Trinamool Congress said that the decision was against the ruling of the Supreme Court.

“We oppose the government’s decision to keep in abeyance the 10% job quota for the EWS category,” Trinamool Congress Assam president Ripun Bora said, according to The New Indian Express.

Congress MLA and Leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia claimed the move was a cost-cutting measure because of a financial crisis brought upon by the Assam government.