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Assembly Adopts Muslim, ST Reservations Hike Bill

The Bill for providing 12% reservations for Muslims was passed by the Telangana Assembly with the support of all political parties except the BJP.
Hyderabad | 16th April 2017
The Telangana Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of Appointments or Posts in the Services under the State) Bill 2017 - yes, it's a mouthful and then some - was passed by the Telangana Legislative Assembly on Sunday with the support of all political parties except the BJP.

The Bill aims to provide 12% reservation to Muslims and 10% to STs.

"I am not going to beg but fight with the Centre in case it opposes the Bill," Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao firmly said in his reply to the discussion held on the Bill.

Asking the parties which were opposing the bill what was wrong in giving reservations to the Muslims, he said, "Are they not paying taxes? What sin they have committed? Muslims form 20% of the population in the country, and some communal parties are opposing reservations to them by indulging in rigid arguments."

He said that he would send the Act to the Centre, and then see what needed to be done on it.

Exuding confidence that he would achieve reservations for Muslims just as he had achieved statehood for Telangana, KCR said that the Supreme Court had clearly stated in its verdict in the Indira Sahani case in 1992 that reservations could exceed 50% in case there were justified reasons for it.

"The Centre can't deny the bill under any pretext. If needed I will take an all-party delegation to Delhi," he said.

Reacting to Congress MLA T Jeevan Reddy's observation that the SCs and STs would be subjected to injustice in case the bill was not endorsed by the Centre, and the latter's contention that there was a need to delink the SC/ST Reservations Bill from this bill, KCR said that the state government was sending the bill combining SC, ST, BC and Muslim quotas as a bouquet to the Centre to ensure that all reservations would be accepted in one step.

"If the Centre rejects the bill, then the state government will follow Jeevan Reddy's suggestion and amend the reservations for SCs and STs following the Constitution, which has given the power to the states to amend the reservations for SCs and STs by convening an all-party meeting," he said.

Reacting to TDP Member R Krishnaiah's doubts, KCR said that there was no need for the BCs to get disappointed. The state government would act on reservations for them immediately upon receiving the report from the BC Commission, and a special session would be conducted again to pass the bill enhancing reservations for the BCs based on their population.

Referring to MIM Member Mouzam Khan's doubts, KCR said that the present 4% reservation for Muslims would not disappear. The government would consider the advice of Khan and set up a strong legal team to argue the case if the need arose, KCR promised. (Khan had said that the Sangh Parivar could approach the courts on the new reservations for Muslims, and hence the state government needed to continue the 4% reservation as it was and include the additional 8% through a BC-F category.)

Finding fault with the CPM lone Member Sunnam Rajaiah, who while extending full support to the bill opposed the inclusion of Valmiki Boyas and Kayati Lambadas in the STs, KCR said that both Valmiki Boyas and Kayati Lambadas were poor like the tribals.
filed in:  Religion, Muslim Reservations, Reservations, Assembly, Assembly Session, Telangana Assembly, Backward Classes, SC/ST, KCR, Telangana
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