Meghlaya State Education Minister Rakkam A Sangma on May 25 warned the Voice of the People's Party (VPP) against playing with fire on the sensitive issue of reservation. The minister highlighted the potential serious consequences that could impact the youth of the state if the reservation policy is not handled responsibly.
Referring to a landmark case in Maharashtra in 2014, Minister Sangma reminded that the Supreme Court had struck down an ordinance that allowed reserved seats for a particular tribe beyond the permissible limit of 50 percent. He stressed that the apex court's decision was applicable to every state, including Meghalaya.
Highlighting the unique situation in Meghalaya, Sangma pointed out that the state currently enjoys 85 percent reservation for tribals, with 80 percent allocated for Khasi-Jaintia and Garo communities, and an additional 5 percent for other tribes. He expressed concern that if the Supreme Court takes note of the state's reply justifying the 85 percent reservation, Meghalaya's reservation policy could be at risk.
The education minister further referred to a 1992 case in the Supreme Court where the court made it clear that any policy regarding job reservation and appointments should not exceed the 50 percent limit. He cautioned that continuing to fuel the reservation drama could have serious consequences and potentially lead to the striking down of the existing policy. Sangma urged for responsibility and adherence to the Supreme Court's guidelines, as failure to do so would have a lasting impact on the future generation.
The remarks from Minister Sangma came in response to the ongoing indefinite hunger strike by VPP chief Ardent M Basiawmoit, who is demanding discussions on the reservation policy by the state government.
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