The DMK has supported the Centre’s move to implement the ‘skimmed’ 27 per cent OBC quota this academic year but insisted on inclusion of the creamy layer from next year.
“We want both the shirt (27 per cent reservation) and the shawl (inclusion of creamy layer). But if the Centre can give us only the shirt this year and not the shawl we’ll accept it. But we’ll demand the shawl next year,” DMK chief M Karunanidhi said after a meeting of the party’s high power committee on Friday.
A resolution adopted by the party said the Centre, while taking legal steps for the inclusion of the creamy layer, should implement the 27 per cent quota in full from this year onwards. The DMK welcomed the Supreme Court verdict, but described the exclusion of creamy layer as an “irritant.”
The party pointed out that in Article 15(4) of the Constitution only the term ‘socially and educationally’ backward was included to describe the OBCs, not “economically”. “Removing the economically advanced among the OBCs from the scope of reservation would dilute the concept of reservations itself,” the resolution argued.
The DMK said reservation was not a tool to remove poverty but only a right for the socially and educationally backward to claim opportunities denied to them for centuries. Also applying the income factor to determine backwardness was not practicable as a family’s income could vary form year to year. This would not only cause division among the OBCs but would also deny them the full benefits of reservation.
Talking to reporters Karunanidhi said the DMK would not give up its fight against the exclusion of creamy layer but did not want that issue to delay the implementation of the quota. The party will consult its senior leaders and legal wing before deciding on whether to file a review petition against the exclusion of the creamy layer.