The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance on Wednesday is set to table the The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019, in the Rajya Sabha, a day after it was passed in the Lok Sabha. The legislation provides for 10% reservation for economically backward upper castes.

The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha with 323 members voting in favour and only three against. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the bill was an indication of the government’s commitment to ensuring a life of dignity for every poor person, irrespective of caste or creed. Union minister Rajnath Singh said that the historic bill was brought in in the interest of the nation.

Although several Opposition parties, including the Congress, Shiv Sena, and the National Congress Party, have supported the bill, they have accused the Centre of introducing it with the upcoming General Elections in mind.

Here are seven articles on the upper caste quota:

  1. Modi’s 10% upper caste quota is a political gamble that may backfire (just like demonetisation): It could consolidate Dalits and Other Backward Classes against the BJP and spark fresh demands for removing the 50% cap on reservation.
  2. 124th amendment attacks very core of equality of all citizens under Constitution: With this bill, the Centre is attempting to paint reservations as charity by the state and not a crucial constitutional measure of ensuring equality.
  3. Why BJP’s upper-caste quota is a great gambit – but it raises some tricky questions: A quick rundown of the reasons the 10% quota could alter the conversation, while also facing serious challenges.
  4. ‘It’s a lollipop,’ says Opposition leaders, question intent and timing of Modi’s 10% upper caste quota: While parties that rely on upper caste votes questioned only the timing of the announcement, others called it a political gimmick ahead of the general election.
  5. How Modi’s 10% quota for poor upper castes violates Supreme Court orders on reservations: The Centre will have to create a new category of beneficiaries to implement the quota.
  6. An explainer on why caste-based reservation in India is capped at 50%: And is it justified?
  7. What justifies an arbitrary 50% cap on reservations – when upper caste numbers are much smaller? Reservation quotas must reflect numbers on the ground.