The Congress’s elation after the Supreme Court verdict vindicated its stand on the quota issue is now being tempered. Some members feel the battle may have been won but the war has been lost, in the backdrop of the exclusion of the creamy layer and confusion over applicability of the law for PG courses.
Allies have started putting presssure on the government on the issue. At Friday’s Cabinet meeting, the DMK, LJP, RJD and PMK raised the matter but Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the judgment needed to be studied first.
HRD Minister Arjun Singh, congratulated by his colleagues when he attended the meeting, said the issue will be discussed by the Cabinet later.
Sources said the Centre — in a gesture to its allies and the OBC constituency — may file a review petition but are not hopeful of a positive outcome as the verdict on the creamy layer was unananimous.
“We want the creamy layer included,’’ said LJP’s Ram Vilas Paswan. DMK’s Karunanidhi wrote to Arjun Singh hoping the minister would solve the creamy layer issue.
Already battling price rise, a section in the Congress is also getting uneasy about the electoral impact of the quota law. “As usual we may fall between two stools: the OBCs will be unhappy because the creamy layer is out and the forwards because of the quota law,’’ said a well-placed leader.
He is now keeping his fingers crossed on whether the electorate will buy the explanation that the Centre’s hands are tied by the verdict.