Will Modi’s Reservation Gamble Win Him Middle-Class Votes in 2019?

10 percent reservation for economically weaker section in the general category has been passed in the Parliament. 

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The Modi government managed to get the reservation Bill passed in the Parliament in just two days and even the most critical opponents of the BJP fell in line when it came to this proposal.

However, the details of the Bill remain a little unclear, there are some reports that quote a Rs 8 lac threshold of family income to qualify. The Bill has been pushed months before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and poses questions like – how will it work and will it benefit the government in the 2019 polls?


Speaking to BloombergQuint, Sadanand Dhume resident Fellow of American Enterprise Institute, , said that though the government is “hoping” to make everybody happy with the Bill, there is a more complex way to look at it.

“There is a more complex way of looking at it which is – once you open this can of worms, which is reservation, once you start talking about the divisions of society, which are supposed to heal but are being perpetuated by quotas for all these years, are entering terrains that are fundamentally not in the BJP’s favor. So, what looks like a bold masterstroke in their own words may end up being a boomerang.”
Sadanand Dhume, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

Meanwhile, senior journalist and political analyst, Javed Ansari, holds the view that this is a “panic reaction” which might not benefit the government.

“This is not a masterstroke, this is a desperate move that too coming from a man who has all along opposed this, but given the stark reality, given there is a gathbandhan against the BJP, this is to forestall that. This is also a panic reaction to the last 3 Assembly election wherein upper caste also voted for the Congress.”
Javed Ansari, Senior Journalist and Political Analyst 

Another senior academic and political analyst Manisha Priyam, said that there is an anomaly in the way things are proceeding with respect to the 10 percent Quota Bill.

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