10.5% Vanniyar quota is provisional, will change based on caste-based Census: OPS

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10.5% Vanniyar quota is provisional, will change based on caste-based Census: OPS

Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister and AIADMK Coordinator O Panneerselvam said that the 10.5% internal reservation provided to Vanniyars in education and employment opportunities within 20% quota for Most Backward Classes (MBCs) is only a temporary arrangement. His comments come amidst reports that several other castes in the MBC category are upset over the reservation to Vanniyars and could hurt the AIADMK’s prospects in the upcoming Assembly elections. The government of Tamil Nadu had, in the last week of February, provided reservation for Vanniyars, a dominant caste group in northern Tamil Nadu.

In an interview to The Hindu, Panneerselvam said that the caste inner reservation provided to Vanniyars is a provisional arrangement. He said that the quota will be finalised once the caste-based Census results in Tamil Nadu are finalised. He added that the quota will be increased or decreased based on the outcome of the caste-based Census.

The demand for the quota was a long-standing from the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), which is in alliance with the AIADMK for the upcoming Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu. The government of Tamil Nadu, in December, also announced that a caste-based Census will be conducted in the state by a Commission headed by former Justice A Kulasekaran. The government’s initiative to ascertain the proportion of population based on caste is aimed at defending the state government’s policy of providing reservation of 69% for education and employment opportunities in Tamil Nadu. It was also in line with long-time demands by social groups and activists since there has not been any such initiative in Tamil Nadu since the 1950s. The announcement was made at a time when PMK cadres across the state were engaged in protests demanding 20% reservation for Vanniyars in government education and employment within the state.

Tamil Nadu will go to polls on April 6 in a single phase and the results will be declared on May 2.