Telangana government decides to hike quota for STs, Muslims

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Defers fixing of reservation to meeting on Saturday

Accepting the report of the State Backward Classes Commission recommending hike in reservation for Muslims, the State Cabinet on Wednesday decided to implement the same, but deferred fixing the quota to its next meeting on Saturday.

The Cabinet also decided to implement the report of a commission headed by a retired IAS officer S. Chellappa to increase the reservation for STs whose quota will also be fixed on Saturday. Both the decisions will be backed by a legislation in the name of Telangana State Reservation Act at a special session of the Assembly on Sunday, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao told a media conference after the Cabinet meeting. He said reservations were being enhanced not on caste or religious basis, but considering the social composition of the State after bifurcation. In the case of Muslims, it will be increase in quota for the community from the existing five per cent (including one per cent for Dudekula group) reserved for it in Backward Classes ‘E’ group. He also said the decisions owed to the public mandate received by TRS in the last elections to extend 12 per cent reservation each to STs and Muslims.

TN model

Giving a detailed explanation on how the Centre will be compelled to bypass the Constitutional requirement that reservations cannot exceed 50 per cent, he said the Telangana government will follow “ditto” the model of Tamil Nadu in raising the quota up to 69 per cent. The legislation of Rajasthan government extending 68 per cent reservation after agitations by Gujjars and Jats was also pending with the Centre. He recalled the judgement of Supreme Court in Indira Sawhney case after Mandal Commission imbroglio that the Central and State governments were free to give reservations in excess of 50 per cent if they had “quantifiable and impeccable” data about population and social composition. The SC, ST, BC and minorities population in Telangana was 90 per cent.

Mr. Rao warned the Centre against discriminating Telangana while conceding Tamil Nadu’s legislation and including the same in Schedule IX of Constitution. The State government will go to any extent to implement the decisions, he added.

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