The Congress party has expressed fear that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao might cause irreparable damage to the cause of Muslim Reservation in Telangana State.
Greater Hyderabad Congress Committee (GHCC) Minorities Department chairman Shaik Abdullah Sohail, in a statement on Thursday, accused the Chief Minister of adopting a completely impractical approach to fulfil his promise of giving 12% reservation in jobs and education to Muslims of Telangana State. He said that the State Government should follow the established norms to increase the Muslim quota from present 4% to 12%. However, he said that the Chief Minister is proposing to pass a resolution in State Legislative Assembly asking the Centre to amend relevant laws to increase the Muslim quota.
“BJP has been an opponent and critic of Muslim reservation. Therefore, there is zero possibility of BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre extending any help in giving 12% reservation to Muslims in Telangana State. During elections, KCR had promised to give 12% Muslim reservation within four months after coming to power. However, it was only after nine months, on 3rd March 2015, State Government constituted Sudhir Commission. After getting two extensions, the Sudhir Commission presented its report to the Chief Minister on 12th August, 2016 and the same was placed in public domain on 10th December. Without clarifying its stand on Sudhir Commission’s report, State Govt constituted a BC Commission and instead of appointing a retired judge, it appointed an author Mr. B.S. Ramulu as its head.
“The BC Commission so far held only one public hearing, stretched over 5 days, in Hyderabad in December 2016. It is yet to hold public hearings in other 30 districts and needs to gather more information to prepare a comprehensive report on Muslim backwardness. But KCR is reportedly pressuring the BC Commission for an early report so that he could move a resolution in the Assembly. This is not only unethical, but completely unconstitutional. This is nothing but sabotaging the entire cause of Muslim reservation in the State,” Abdullah Sohail said.
The Congress leader pointed out that the High Court had scrapped 5% and then 4% Muslim quota primarily on the grounds that it was not backed by a comprehensive report on backwardness of Muslim community. Although the Supreme Court granted stay on 4% Muslim reservation which benefitted nearly 10 lakh poor Muslims, its continuation is subject to final judgment to be given by the Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court. Instead of taking measures to rectify the flaws identified by High Court in previous cases, TRS Government deliberately made several mistakes to weaken the cause of Muslim reservation. He feared that the present approach by TRS Government might also damage the 4% Muslim quota case in the Supreme Court.
Abdullah Sohail said 12% reservation for Muslims could not be implemented by merely passing a resolution in the Assembly. “Since its first session on 14th June, 2014, the Telangana Legislative Assembly passed 19 resolutions on different matters. They include issues like 33% reservation for women in the Parliament and State Legislatures; According Special Category Status to Telangana State; establishment of separate High Court; Reservation for OBCs in Parliament and State Legislatures; withdrawal of Polavaram Ordinance and Categorization of Scheduled Castes. “When the Central Government did not act on any of these resolutions, how it is expected to act on an issue like 12% Muslim reservation? By passing the resolution in Assembly, KCR wants to wash his hands off from the promise and then blame others for the non-implementation,” he said.
“KCR will be held responsible if any damage is caused to the existing 4% reservation and Muslim community will not rest until the Chief Minister implement his promise of increasing the quota to 12%,” he said.
Abdullah Sohail announced that the Congress party would soon organise a meeting with legal experts, intellectuals, religious, political and social leaders to discuss and decide the future course of action. (NSS)