|Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao|
Telangana will pass a bill to provide 12 percent reservations to Muslims in the state and bring pressure on the Union Government to include the law in Constitution's 9th schedule as was done in case of Tamil Nadu, said Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Wednesday.
Reiterating his commitment to provide quota to Muslims in proportion to their population, he said that if the central government refuses, the state would fight a legal battle.
He told the state assembly that Telangana will follow Tamil Nadu model to provide 12 percent quota to Muslims. He clarified that the quota will not be on the basis on religion but will be based only on socio-economic backwardness.
Rao said reservations to Muslims in proportion to their population in the state will take the total quota in the state to over 50 percent, the upper limit prescribed by the Supreme Court, thus requiring a constitutional amendment.
He said a bill will be passed in the budget session of the assembly and the legislation will be sent to the Centre with a request to include it in the 9th Schedule, which has laws that cannot be challenged in a court of law.
Stating that he is an optimist, Rao tried to set aside the doubts expressed by some opposition legislators on whether the government can fulfill its promise.
He said the Telangana legislation will be on the lines of a legislation formulated by Tamil Nadu in 1994, which took the overall quota in that state to 69 percent and the same was included in 9th Schedule of the Constitution.
"When Tamil Nadu can do it, why not Telangana. We will be providing quota in our state. We need this because the social composition of Telangana is such that weaker sections constitute 85 percent of the population," he said
As the inclusion of Tamil Nadu legislation in the 9th Schedule was challenged in the Supreme Court, he said Telangana will also implead in the case.
Referring to the point raised by All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Akbaruddin Owaisi, the chief minister said there would be no threat to current four percent quota to Muslims as it is within 50 percent limit.
KCR, as the chief minister is popularly known, said Sudhir Commission constituted to study the living standards of the minorities in the state had submitted its report. He said the report was sent to the Backward Classes Commission to make recommendations for reservations based on the population figures.
KCR said the BC Commission was seeking opinions from various sections and will submit its recommendations to the government. A bill will be formulated within a month, taking into consideration the observations made by courts during the hearing on the issue in the past.
Making a statement on the minorities' welfare, the Chief Minister said after the formation of the Telangana state sincere efforts were made to remove insecurity among the minorities, instill confidence among them and protect their identity.
He said a comprehensive plan was prepared for the welfare and development of minorities, who constitute 14.24 percent of the state's population.
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