Explained: What is the proposed Muslim quota in Telangana that the BJP opposes

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The debate over Muslim reservations in Telangana is old, and the BJP has opposed it from the start, as a bill to that effect was passed in the Assembly in 2017.

Ahead of the upcoming Telangana Assembly elections to be held in 2023, the BJP has doubled down on its stance against the reservations for backward Muslims in the state. BJP Telangana Chairman and Bandi MP Sanjay Kumar on Wednesday May 26 reiterated his party’s assertion that if elected to power in the state he would abolish minority reservations, hinting at a proposal increase in reserves for Muslims in arrears to 12% by decision. Government TRS (Telangana Rashtra Samithi). Bandi Sanjay made the statement while addressing a “Hindu Ekta Yatra” in Karimnagar on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti, along with several other anti-Muslim community remarks.

The debate over Muslim reservations in Telangana is an old one, and the BJP has opposed it from the start, as a bill in this regard was passed in the Telangana Assembly five years ago in 2017. The issue also featured prominently in the campaign. for the 2018 Assembly elections, with the BJP raging against the proposal and the TRS accusing the Union government led by Narendra Modi of delaying its implementation.

During a recent visit to Telangana, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also said the BJP would end minority reservations in the state and benefit Scheduled Castes (SC), Tribes listed (ST), backward classes and poor among the upper castes (SAP or economically weaker sections). Addressing a public meeting in Hyderabad on May 14, Amit Shah said: “Religion-based minority reservation affects SC, ST, OBC reservation. We will end minority bookings and increase SC, ST and OBC bookings.

Currently, Telangana provides 4% reservation for Muslims. In the 2014 assembly elections, when the state was formed, the TRS promised to increase reservations for Muslims in jobs and education to 12%, commensurate with their percentage in the population of the state. According to the 2011 census, Muslims constituted 12.7% of Telangana’s population.

In 2016, a commission headed by former IAS officer G Sudhir constituted to study the socio-economic and educational status of Muslims in Telangana recommended reservation of a minimum of 9% to 12%. The Commission had found that 85% of Muslims in the state were in a backward condition.

In April 2017, the Telangana Assembly passed a bill to increase reservations for Muslims from 4% to 12% and Scheduled Tribes from 6% to 10%. The bill was then sent to the Union government for its assent. However, the Union government reportedly refused to give its approval, saying it could not allow reservations based on religion.

Earlier on May 15, in a rebuttal to Amit Shah’s speech the previous day, Telangana Minister and TRS Chairman KT Rama Rao pointed out that reservations for Muslims also exist in other states such as the Kerala, and even BJP-ruled states like Karnataka and Bihar. . Muslims have 10% reservation in government jobs and 12% in educational institutions in Kerala. Like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh also provides a 4% reservation for Muslims, as does Karnataka. Tamil Nadu provides 3.5% reservation for Muslims. KTR had asked Shah why it could be implemented in other states but not in Telangana. However, CM KCR did not immediately respond to Amit Shah’s remarks on minority reservations, prompting the Telangana Congress to question its silence on the issue.

Also ahead of the Telangana Assembly election in 2018, the BJP took a stand against the proposal. At the time, Prime Minister Modi criticized the move, calling it a “crime” and an act of “treason”. Both Modi and Shah had said the increase in bookings could not be made, citing the upper limit of 50% of total bookings set by the Supreme Court. Earlier in 2019, when legislation for a 10% reservation for the EWS quota was proposed by the Union Government, KCR urged that the bill be amended to include Muslims and STs as requested. from Telangana.

Lily:

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At a campaign rally in Hyderabad in 2018, Prime Minister Modi had previously claimed that reservations for Muslims would remove the rights of SCs, STs and OBCs. Addressing a campaign rally at the time, Amit Shah also said the BJP would not provide reservation on the basis of religion or allow others to implement it. On the other hand, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his election speeches for delaying its implementation by not approving the hike in reservations for Muslims.

With PTI inputs

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