Hyderabad: Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao will become a hero for Muslims throughout India if the community in the state is actually able to get benefit of 12 percent reservation passed by the state assembly Sunday. The special session of the assembly saw the bill being passed by the assembly by near unanimity as only a couple of BJP MLas opposed the move.
The Telangana government passed a bill on Sunday to increase reservation in jobs and education for backward Muslims to 12%, exceeding the Supreme Court’s 50% ceiling for such benefits.
As promised during the assembly election, Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao convened a special assembly session on Sunday, only to pass the bill providing 12 percent reservation to the Muslim community in the state. he was supported by almost every political party in the house including the Congress, Asaduddin Owaisi led Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen. Though the move was vociferously opposed by the few BJP legislators in the house, their low number ensured that they couldn’t impact the proceeding of the house or the passage of the bill.
It must be kept in mind that the backward Muslims in the new state — carved out of Andhra Pradesh in June 2014 — are already entitled to 4% reservation in educational institutions and government jobs. Chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao introduced the proposed law: the Telangana backward classes, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes (reservation of seats in educational institutions and of appointments or posts in services under the state) bill, 2017.
The history of the reservation for Muslims in Telangana and erstwhile Andhra Pradesh dates back to early nineties. In August 1994, then AP chief minister Kotla Vijayabhaskar Reddy issued a government order (GO) including a few categories of Muslims such as washerman and weavers into OBC list. In July, 2004, then YS Rajasekhar Reddy government issued a GO providing 5% quota to Muslims by treating them as OBC by creating fifth category (Category-E).
In November 2004, the YSR government re-constituted the OBC Commission headed by justice Dalva Subrahmanyam. In October 2005, the YSR government issued an ordinance providing five percent quota to Muslims in educational institutions and state government jobs. The ordinance was replaced by an Act later. In July 2007, the YSR government promulgated another ordinance providing four percent reservations to 14 categories of poor Muslims well within 50% limit
While introducing the bill providing 12 percent quota to Muslims, Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao said, “After the bifurcation of the combined Andhra Pradesh state, the percentage of Muslims in Telangana has gone up and 90% of them are poor and socially backward. Hence, we have decided to increase the quota for Muslims, treating them as OBC (other backward class)”. He dismissed allegations that his government was providing more reservation in the name of religion.
The state that include much of the erstwhile Deccan under Nizam said that in the neighbouring southern state of Tamil Nadu, 69% of the seats are reserved for SC, ST and OBC communities. The chief ministeris reportedly confident of getting the enhanced quotas legalised by incorporating them in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution through a constitutional amendment.