CHENNAI: Pattali Makkal Katchi leader S Ramadoss on Monday expressed shock and disappointment over the Madras high court’s order declaring as unconstitutional the 10.5% internal reservation for vanniyars in employment and education within the most backward classes quota.
In a statement, the PMK leader said quashing of the vanniyar quota by the high court was unacceptable given that the high court and the Supreme Court did not strike down the internal quota for Muslims and arunthadiyars.
The internal quota was the result of four decades of agitations by the Vanniyar Sangam, the community and loss of lives. “The quashing of quota is unacceptable, especially when it is believed that it will be an instrument for the progress of vanniyars. It is a big setback for social justice and a massive setback for the development of Tamil Nadu,” Ramadoss said, adding that chief minister M K Stalin had the responsibility to reinstate the internal quota. “I hope he will do it.”
The previous AIADMK government enacted the law in February to provide the quota, yielding to the demand of its ally, the PMK, while the successive DMK government led by Stalin issued an order to give effect to implementation.
The PMK leader said lakhs of students had gained admission after the vanniyar quota law was enacted and thousands joined the jobs, but the court had not considered their welfare and future.
“Injustice has been meted out to them,” the leader said, adding that the beneficiaries were under tremendous mental agony. The Tamil Nadu government should make an appeal in the Supreme Court in a war-footing and protect their welfare and social justice, he said.
The reservation in the state was being made based on 1931 caste census and the data collected by the backward classes commissions. The vanniyar quota was also made possible on the same lines. “The questions raised by the Madras high court are dangerous to social justice and could also damage the reservation extended to all the communities. The state government is duty bound to prepare answers to all those queries,” Ramadoss said. He pointed to the court order that found the response of the state government inadequate to its seven queries.