Venkaiah Naidu says Telangana's new Muslim reservation Bill is unconstitutional

Telangana assembly

This is not the first time such a sensitive issue has been made the nucleus of political acrimony, nor is it expected to be the last. These new reservations will increase the total quota to 62%.

On the other hand the pro Hindutva outfit BJP was seen vehemently opposing the the bill both inside and outside the legislature, the entire Opposition supported the Backward Class, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Reservation Bill, 2017, all five members of BJP were suspended from the assembly, its lone member in council staged a walk-out on the bill. The Scheduled Castes now have 15 per cent reservations while the Backward Castes have a total quota of 25 per cent.

Mr Modi recently attended the BJP's National Executive meeting, in Odisha, where he talked about the backwardness among the Muslims. We must reach out to them.

"Religion-based reservations will lead to social unrest". The bill was passed during a special sitting, during which all five MLAs of the BJP were suspended for disrupting the proceedings. The Left and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehaadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), naturally, rallied behind the government.

Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu has been quoted as saying a quota hike for Muslims can not be allowed as it will pave the way for a "mini-Pakistan" in India.

KCR's assertion that the Bill was intended at "inclusive development" of marginalised population among weaker sections and minorities, after the formation of separate Telangana, seemed an effort to tighten the loose ends. His party has claimed that after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana ended up with a bigger percentage of Muslims.

The Muslim population, for instance, has gone up from 9.56 per cent in the composite AP to 12.68 per cent in Telangana, the majority of whom come under Backward Class (E) group. But then, increasing Reservations beyond the BC Commission Recommendations can be challenged in the court. "It will not stand the scrutiny of courts", Rao said.

This please-all move of the state government has far-reaching political consequences. "The constituent assembly too was against it", he said.

"Why can't we give them reservation?"

The Congress Deputy leader dared the Chief Minister to announce that the latter would not seek votes of Muslims if he could not persuade the Centre to concede hike in reservation.

Naidu, for his part, said the government's objective was to provide electricity to over 18,000 villages "still living in the dark" across the country. Citywise, Hyderabad has the largest concentration whereas Khammam has the loswest population of Muslims. "So, what is clear is, this bill is for the appeasement of Muslims and you ignore SCs, STs and BCs", he said. Besides, the state Government also proposed to pass GST Bill and also a Bill on protecting Telangana Heritage Buildings.

Rao assured the house that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Government would fulfil their commitment to enhance quota to Muslims and STs to 12 percent each.

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