Hyderabad: The Congress party on Saturday expressed its resolve to protect the ongoing 4% Muslim reservation in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh by putting up a strong legal fight in the Supreme Court.
Addressing the prize distribution ceremony of competitions held on the topic of “15 Years of 4% Muslim Reservation” on the occasion of 64th birthday of former Minister and ex-Leader of Opposition Mohammed Ali Shabbir at Prakasham Hall in Gandhi Bhavan premises on Saturday, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Congress party would continue to fight the legal battle in Supreme Court to protect the 4% Muslim reservation.
He praised the role played by Shabbir Ali and the then Chief Minister Dr. Y.S. Rajashekhara Reddy in giving 4% reservation to backward groups among Muslims in 2004. He said that the previous Congress regime implemented 4% Muslim reservation in jobs, education and also in local bodies which led to socio-economic, educational and political empowerment of poor Muslims.
Uttam Kumar Reddy accused Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao of cheating the Muslims on the promise of 12% reservation. He said KCR had promised to implement 12% Muslim quota within four months after coming to power in 2014.
However, he said the promise remained unfulfilled even after six years and today KCR is not even speaking about it. Calling TRS an ally of BJP, he cited various instances when KCR supported the BJP and Modi Government.
Shabbir Ali, in his speech, gave an overview of the impact of 4% Muslim reservation. He claimed that nearly 20 lakh poor Muslims in combined Andhra Pradesh benefitted from 4% reservation and Fee Reimbursement policies in the last 15 years. He pointed out that the percentage of Muslims among all students of Telangana is higher than the national average.
“According to the All India Survey of Higher Education 2018-19, as many as 130,282 Muslims students were enrolled in Telangana State while it was 58,779 in Andhra Pradesh. Put together, a total of 1,89,061 Muslim students were enrolled in both the Telugu States where the four per cent reservation is being implemented,” he said.
“The share of Muslims in government jobs increased significantly after they started getting 4% quota since 2004. Poor and backward Muslims under BC-E were also made eligible to contest in local body elections from all seats reserved for Backward Classes.
This led to political empowerment of Muslims with more than 40% of total elected representatives like Sarpanches, Councillors and Corporators from the community getting elected from BC reserved seats. Congress party ensured real empowerment of poor, socially and economically backward Muslims and introduced a policy (4% reservation) which is continuing even after it lost power,” he said.
Shabbir Ali informed that the Supreme Court has resumed hearing on 4% Muslim quota case this month and all efforts were being made to win the legal battle in favour of Muslim reservation.
“Despite the improvement in literacy levels and a few economic factors, the majority of Muslims are still poor and backward and therefore, there is a strong need to continue the ongoing 4% quota. Muslims have been cheated by KCR on the promise of 12% reservation and we want to ensure that at least ongoing 4% reservation continue in future,” he said.
He also informed that awareness would be created among Muslims on the importance of ongoing 4% Muslim reservation, especially among the young generation, and therefore, the National Solidarity Committee, headed by TPCC General Secretary S.K. Afzaluddin has organised various competitions like elocution, essay writing and quiz on the subject of Muslim reservation.
More than 1200 school students participated in the competitions held on 11th and 12th February. The winners of those competitions were given prizes on Saturday. He announced that State and district level competitions on the importance of Muslim reservation would be held at a massive scale to create awareness among the children and their families.
Sultan-ul-Uloom Educational Society Secretary Zafar Javeed, Youth Congress president Anil Kumar Yadav and other senior leaders also participated. A documentary on struggle for 4% Muslim reservation was also screened on the occasion.