As the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh is drifting closer, political parties, be it ruling or the Opposition, have started somersaulting to woo voters. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati shot off a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding reservation benefits for the Muslims. Barely a day after the letter was sent to the PM for reservation for Muslims, she dropped another missive to him seeking reservations also for the poor among the upper castes. It is, now, crystal clear that her politics is based on reservation, which has become a tool for the incumbent establishment to redeem its poor performance delivered during its tenure. It seems that she may bundle out more such letters in coming days. Such sort of demand for reservation is tantamount to political gimmick. Such political stunts keep coming in the country, because other political parties too opt to use reservation as an effective tool to woo voters. This is the fallout of reservation-based politics that many people from different social strata themselves start demanding for the reservation benefit. Without knowing consequence, the political parties start advocating the reservation benefit as well as they do support any demand regarding reservation, deliberately ignoring the fact that the Constitution has allowed for only 50 percent reservation.  It is irony that political motive has become so dominant that it takes precedence over the Constitutional obligation.

For a decade the political parties have made such situation in the country that reservation has become a panacea for uplifting socio-economically backward people. The Constitution has given the provision to ameliorate socially marginalized lot, but it does not mean that the condition of the poor and downtrodden would be bettered with only reservation benefit. The reservation is not only sole solution for their backwardness, which is clear from the fact that they are enjoying the reservation benefit since the Independence but their socio-economical position is still dismal. Needless to say those taking the reservation benefit are still reeling under backwardness. Political parties must know that there is need to explore other options to uplift the situation of downtrodden people, otherwise it would be difficult to curb the demand of reservation. Political parties have extensively used reservation as a tool for getting electoral gains, so it must be brought under the gamut of electoral reform.