Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Sunday said BR Ambedkar, who drafted the Indian Constitution, had introduced the system of reservations in government jobs and educational institutions only for a decade (after Independence).

“Babasaheb Ambedkar said reservations must be only for 10 years,” she said at an event called Lokmanthan 2018 in Ranchi, The Times of India reported. “Thereafter, efforts must be made for uplifting the communities [who have the benefit of reservation] as a whole. But it did not happen. Those present in Parliament kept extending the reservations for 10 years. Once, it was even extended for 20 years.”

Mahajan said extension of reservations is a “shortcoming”, NDTV reported. “Will reservation bring welfare to the country?” she asked. “Only reservations will not change the country. There must be a change in thinking in villages about reservations.” The Lok Sabha speaker maintained that her opinions were personal.

The conclave was inaugurated by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.

In June, Bharatiya Janata Party National President Amit Shah had said that the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, and reservations, will remain in force as long as the party is in power. The Supreme Court had in March diluted the provisions of the Act, removing a provision for automatic arrests under it.