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Bihar Deputy CM says will move Supreme Court against High Court stay on quota hike.

The Bihar government will petition the Supreme Court to challenge the Patna High Court’s decision to set aside a 50% to 65% increase in reservation for deprived castes, Deputy Chief Minister Samrat Choudhary said on Thursday, even as opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav chastised the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for failing to include the quota law in the Constitution’s ninth schedule, which would have given it immunity from judicial review. In a setback for the Nitish Kumar government, the high court on Thursday struck down legislations passed by the state assembly in November last year to increase the reservation for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and backward classes in education and government jobs to 65%, exceeding the 50% ceiling set by the top court.

“After getting legal advice, the Bihar government plans to challenge the high court ruling before the Supreme Court. Backward communities, Dalits, and tribals must be given more reservation in Bihar,” Choudhary, who is also the state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) head, added. “We believe that the reservation laws in Bihar were amended in accordance with provisions of the Constitution states like Tamil Nadu, too, have 69% quotas.”

Madan Sahni, leader of the Janata Dal (United) and a state minister, has also stated that the administration will take appropriate measures. “Bihar was the first state to undertake a caste-based survey and boost quota based on its findings. We shall consider the top court’s verdict issued today.

In response to the high court’s decision, opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav accused the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre of obstructing the conduct of a caste survey and an increase in quota. “We are saddened, and we suspected that the BJP would try to halt the reservation. We had stated during the elections that the BJP is opposed to reservation… “I don’t understand why the Chief Minister is silent on this,” the RJD leader stated.

Shri Yadav stated that his party, which was part of the administration that implemented the higher quota, pushed on the inclusion of the updated reservation legislation in the Constitution’s ninth schedule. “The state and federal governments, however, did nothing. We demand that an all-party team meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the quota increase in the ninth schedule,” he said, adding that if the state government does not challenge the high court judgement, his party will. Kunal, the state secretary of CPI-ML (liberation), expressed unhappiness with the high court judgement and suggested that the state government approach the Supreme Court to “protect the interests of the backward and oppressed classes.”

WRITTEN BY: ABHISHEK SINGH

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