Keeping its pre-election promise, Telangana Rashtra Samithi on Sunday passed a Bill for increasing the reservation to Muslims from 4 per cent to 12 per cent and of Scheduled Tribes from 6 per cent to 10 per cent for admission to educational institutions and state government jobs. Increasing reservation quota was one of the major poll promises made by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao during his 2014 Assembly election campaign.
During a special Assembly session, five MLAs from the BJP were suspended as they tried to obstruct the proceedings and also blamed the government of doing “communal politics”. However, the Backward Class, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Reservation Bill, 2017 was backed by other opposition parties. The Bill was passed late in the evening by the Legislative Council after having a series of debates regarding the proposed hike in quota which increased the reservations from 50 per cent to 60 per cent in Telangana.
According to sources, BS Ramulu, head of Backward Class Commission had made the recommendations for raising the quota of socially and economically backward Muslims under the Backward Classes(E) category and for STs and the decision was taken based on his recommendations.
The Chief Minister told the Assembly, “The poorer sections of Muslims have already been getting 4 per cent reservation under the Backward Classes (E) category. After the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, population percentage of Muslims in Telangana has shot up and 90 per cent of them are poor and socially backward. Hence, we have decided to increase reservation for them treating them as OBC.”
The BJP MLA G Kishan Reddy dubbed the reservations as “pucca religion-based.” “Enhancement of reservation to Muslims up to 12 per cent is nothing but a violation of the Constitution. These reservations were pucca religion-based,” The Indian Express reported his as saying. He further said that ‘Isalm’ was against discrimination and warned the government that their “vote bank politics” would be a “historic mistake.” Clarifying his stand further, Reddy also said the BJP supported hike in quota for the STs.