Patna, Feb 17 (PTI) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday reiterated the need for a separate sub-quota for the extremely backward classes in reservation for OBCs at the central level.
The JD(U) leader pointed out that in Bihar, the provision had been in force since the times of Karpoori Thakur, his ideological guru who headed the short-lived Janata Party government formed after the Emergency.
'In Bihar pichhda (backward classes) and ati pichhda (extremely backward) were acknowledged as distinct categories during Karpoori Thakurs time. This has continued.
'At the central level, all backward classes are treated as a single block. I think there should be separate demarcation there too', he told reporters.
Thakur had introduced reservations for the backward classes by implementing recommendations of the Mungerilal Commission, which was strongly opposed by the upper castes notwithstanding a three per cent quota for the economically weak among them.
Kumar, who owes his rise in politics to the Mandal era churning, was asked about 'an ongoing debate' to restrict reservation benefits and exclude from its purview those who have already availed of the facility.
'I am not aware of any such debate. Reservations have been in place, both in the state and at the Centre, for quite long.
Of course, there have been new provisions, like 10 per cent quota for the economically backward who may not be among OBCs and SC/ST', replied Kumar at the JD(U) state headquarters where he had gone to interact with the party workers.
'If any studies are being conducted to bring about any changes in the existing reservation system, I have never heard of any proposals to deprive any section of the facility', he added. PTI NAC SNS SNS