69% quota will be continued, says TN CM Palaniswami 

Chennai: After DMK chief and Leader of Opposition M K Stalin raised the issue of reservation in the TN Assembly, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami assured the 69 per cent reservation would be continued. He also said decision on implementing 10 per cent quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) would be taken after convening a meeting with other political parties in the State.

Stalin had opposed the 10 per cent quota and termed it as poison. He demanded the TN government’s stand on the issue as AIADMK’s late leader J Jayalalithaa was widely appreciated for bringing in legal safeguards for 69 per cent reservation.

The DMK leader, speaking on a special attention motion, said the EWS quota among forward castes went against social justice. He further pointed out that the Centre was for implementation of 10 per cent quota by offering 25 per cent more seats for MBBS seats.

Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said the case pertaining to the EWS was before the constitution bench of the Supreme Court. He further added that regarding the letter written by the Centre to the State on implementing the 10 per cent quota, the opinion of the Advocate General and Delhi-based senior counsels will be sought. He said, “All of us can hold a dialogue and decide to ensure that the 69 per cent reservation does not get reduced by even by 0.1 per cent.”

Assuring that the State would not compromise on the 69 per cent reservation, Health Minister C Vijayabhaskar pointed out that except Tamilnadu and Karnataka, all other States had accepted the new quota.

Asking States to respond before 28 June, the Medical Council of India in its letter had said that if 10 per cent quota was implemented by the States, they would be offered 25 per cent increase in medical seats. This sans upgradation of infrastructure. But Tamilnadu had not responded yet said the minister.

Refuting the allegation made by DMK MLA K Ponmudi that the TN government appeared to have accepted the reservation policy, Palaniswami said 150 of the total of 1,000 seats will be earmarked for all-India quota, and 264 of the remaining 850 seats will be for open competition. The rest of 586 seats will be filled only on the basis of 69 per cent reservation, said the Chief Minister.

NT Bureau