Telangana CM meets PM Modi over reservation bill
Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seek the Centre's approval of new legislation seeking to enhance reservations in the state. After briefing Modi about the social demographics of the state, Rao sought immunity from the 50% overall limit on reservations. He also highlighted that Tamil Nadu managed to secure an exemption, implementing 69% reservation in the state.
Telangana has passed a bill to increase reservation in educational institutes and jobs for backward Muslims to 12%. However, this and other approved quotas combined (62%) exceed the apex court's 50% cap on such benefits. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi government convened a special session on Sunday; the bill was passed after hours of intense debate.
"After the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, the percentage of Muslims in Telangana has gone up and 90% of them are poor and socially backward. Hence, we have decided to increase the quota for Muslims, treating them as OBC," said CM K Chandrasekhar Rao.
The Telangana Backward Classes, SC, ST (reservation of seats in educational institutions and of appointments or posts in services under the state) Bill, 2017, also proposes increasing reservation for STs from 6% to 10%. The law will have to be approved by the state legislative council and then the President for inclusion in the Constitution's Ninth Schedule.
Some protested the bill saying the KCR government was providing more religion-based quotas, which goes against the Constitution. BJP members assembled at the well of the House and shouted slogans. Five legislators were suspended.
Opposition parties other than the BJP supported the bill. T Jeevan Reddy of the Congress said, "It's better late than never." The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen suggested retaining the existing 4% quota "under the BC (E) category". AIMIM also batted for the creation of a separate "BC(F) category" to extend benefits.