Muslim reservations: Govt’s alleged lack of vigour in SC highlights disparity

Hyderabad: K Chandrasekhar Rao, prior to the formation of Telangana and in the subsequent years after its establishment, had pledged to allocate 12 per cent reservation for Muslims within the first four months of his party’s tenure. However, despite these assurances, no ordinance has been promulgated to increase Muslim reservation.

This situation has prompted Muslim representatives to raise concerns regarding the government’s apparent lack of commitment to pursuing the case of the pending 4 percent Muslim reservation in the Supreme Court.

A senior BRS leader highlighted that the government successfully passed Dalit and Muslim Reservation Bills in the Assembly after Telangana’s formation, both bills have encountered an impasse with the central government. However, he said that in a contrasting development, BRS has issued an ordinance to heighten Dalit reservation, leading to its implementation and subsequent appointments. However, there has been minimal progress regarding Muslim reservation.

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During the last election cycle, Chief Minister KCR faced inquiries regarding the unfulfilled promise of 12 percent Muslim reservation. Rather than providing direct responses, he reiterated the government’s seriousness about the matter. Yet, almost a decade after Telangana’s formation, KCR’s commitment to implement the promise within four months remains unmet.

The Muslim reservation issue takes on a different trajectory in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The 4% Muslim reservation instituted by the Congress under Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy’s government is being upheld and implemented. Prior to the issuance of this regulation, an extensive report on the economic conditions of Muslims was acquired from the government through a meeting convened by the BC Commission. Subsequently, educationally and economically disadvantaged sections of Muslims were included in the BC(E) category.

In light of the government’s silence on the matter of 12 percent Muslim reservation, elected Muslim representatives are urging the administration to take proactive measures concerning the pending 4 percent reservation case before the Supreme Court. Party insiders have conveyed that the government’s lack of attention towards Muslim concerns is reflective of their realization that Muslim votes are no longer easily secured. The government’s recent provision of 100 percent subsidy, up to Rs 1 lakh, for underprivileged Muslims is being perceived as an attempt to regain favour.

However, leading Muslim figures argue that the community can no longer be deceived, and the government cannot expect to garner Muslim votes without fulfilling its promises. At the district level, influential Muslims maintain that even if Muslim organizations or alliances campaign or appeal in support of BRS, the people will not align with the party due to its perceived failure to address the longstanding issue of 12 percent reservation for Muslims.

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