Observing that the Sachar Committee's report has 'brought to light a social reality', former prime minister V P Singh on Sunday suggested the creation of a sub-quota for disadvantaged groups like Muslims within the 27 percent reservation for OBCs.
"It has been over a decade since we implemented the Mandal Commission's recommendations. Yet many of the underdogs have failed to benefit from it. This is a social reality that has got reflected in the Sachar Committee's report," he told PTI.
Singh, regarded as the architect of Mandal, said there was a need for affirmative action in favour of the minorities and most backward castes and that the same could be achieved without a constitutional amendment.
"The government should consider creating a sub-quota for these socially disadvantaged groups within the 27 percent reservation that has been given to the backwards," he said.
On the controversy over 'creamy layer' among OBCs, he said, "Care should be taken to ensure that the needy avail the quotas and that would serve the purpose."
Approving the government's nod to reservation in higher educational institutions, Singh said he had been in favour of giving a 10 percent quota to the poor among upper castes but could not do so due to 'constitutional constraints'.
Defending his stand against special economic zones, Singh accused the Central and state governments of assisting the capitalist class at the cost of farmers.
"The capitalist class claims to be a champion of free market. Then why do business groups not negotiate with farmers directly and purchase land at market rate? Why do they need governments' help to buy land at throw-away prices," he said.