Telangana firm on increasing 12 per cent quota for Muslim community

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K Chandrasekhar Rao to move Supreme Court if Centre doesn’t allow increase in quota limit

Hyderabad: The long-pending Muslim Reservation Bill will be introduced in the Telangana State Legislature in the ensuing Budget session next month. The Bill aims to increase reservation for the Muslims in education and employment to 12 per cent from the present four per cent.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao made this announcement in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday. He clarified that this quota was not being given on religious grounds but on the basis of socio-economic and educational backwardness of Muslims, who comprise nearly 15 per cent of population in Telangana.

The Chief Minister said that the Telangana government would move the Supreme Court against the Central government if it rejects the Muslim quota Bill passed by Telangana Legislature for its inclusion in the IX Schedule of the Constitu-tion to provide the legal protection to the Muslim quota.

“We will tell the Supreme Court that the Centre had allowed the Tamil Nadu government to implement reservation over and above 50 per cent quota limit  prescribed by SC since 1991 by incorporating the state reservations in the IX Schedule of the Constitution. We will inform the Supreme Court that people in TS are also demanding similar exemption. Since TS is also a state in India like TN, I am 100 per cent confident that the hike in the Muslim quota will overcome all constitutional and legal issues as there cannot be different rules for different states. If we succeed, we will get quotas like TN. Otherwise, both the states will lose,” Mr Rao remarked.

He said the government had originally planned to introduce and pass the Bill in the winter session itself but they dropped the plan on the advice of Advocate-General who suggested that some legal and constitutional issues need to be addressed in the Bill to ensure that the Muslim quota Bill does not face any hurdles in the future.

“The AG advised that it would be better if BC Commission tours districts to conduct hearings on the Muslim quota and submit a report to the government. Otherwise, it would be viewed as if the panel had drafted the report sitting in Hyderab-ad, which may face legal issues later. Since Budget session is just a month away, he suggested that it would be better to wait till then and draft the Bil,” Mr Rao added.

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