Bill Hiking Quota for Backward Muslims and ST Passed in Telangana

The Bill hikes reservation quota for backward Muslims and Scheduled Tribes to 12 and 10 per cent respectively.

The Backward Class, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Reservation Bill, 2017 has been passed in the Telangana Assembly. The Bill increases quota for socially and economically backward Muslims and Scheduled Tribes (ST) to 12 and 10 per cent respectively.

Earlier, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had moved the Bill amid protests by BJP MLAs. Under the Bill, quota for socially and economically backward among Muslims under the Backward Classes (E) category is increased from the existing four per cent to 12 percent and the reservations for STs in education and jobs has been increased from 6 per cent to 10 per cent.

Terming it as a historic day, Rao said Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had during the elections promised that quota for the BC (E) and the STs will be increased in proportion to their population in the state. He pointed out that STs are currently enjoying 6 percent quota though their population as per 2011 Census is 9.8 percent.

BJP MLAs Suspended After Protest

The CM clarified that the reservations were being provided purely on the basis of socio-economic backwardness and not on the basis of religion or caste as some parties were trying to mislead people.

Reacting to the Bill, BJP MLA G Kishen Reddy accused the Telangana government of ‘vote bank politics’. He said,

G Kishen Reddy, BJP MLATelangana government is playing vote bank politics. The chief minister is feeling insecure after the big BJP win in Uttar Pradesh. 

Five BJP MLAs were suspended from the Telangana Assembly for protesting against the Bill in the well of the House. BJP workers also came out in the streets against the proposed Bill.

Meanwhile, Rao also said that the reservation for the SCs, who constitute 16.3 per cent of the state's population, will be increased by one per cent. He said the government would soon constitute an SC Commission.

The bill will be passed by both houses of the legislature after a debate and it will be sent to the Centre for the President's assent and with a request to include it in the 9th Schedule of the Constitution as it was done in the case of Tamil Nadu.

The SCs currently enjoy 15 per cent reservations while the Backward Castes have a total quota of 25 per cent. The legislation will increase the total reservations in the state to 62 per cent.

The Chief Minister argued that there is no constitutional bar on providing more than 50 per cent reservation. Rao said with 90 per cent of Telangana's population comprising the BCs, SCs, STs and minorities, the state definitely needed more than 50 per cent reservation, and pointed out that states like Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand were already providing more than 50 per cent quota.

(With ANI and IANS inputs)

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