Andhra Pradesh govt adds Kapus to OBC, plans 5% quota for them
The state cabinet, chaired by chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, approved the inclusion of Kapus and their subsections — Telaga, Balija and Ontari — into the OBC category.india Updated: Dec 01, 2017 23:26 IST
The Andhra Pradesh government on Friday decided to include Kapus, a powerful upper caste community, in the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and provide them 5% reservation in education and employment.
The state cabinet, chaired by chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, approved the report of Justice Manjunatha Commission constituted to look into the status of OBCs and the three-decade old demand for the inclusion of Kapus and their subsections — Telaga, Balija and Ontari — into the OBC category.
The committee recommended that Kapus and their subsections be given quota under OBC category.
At present, OBCs enjoy 25% reservation under five sub-categories: A, B, C, D and E. The cabinet decided that Kapus will be included as the sixth sub-category F and be provided 5% reservation.
Kapus are a predominant caste in coastal Andhra, particularly in East and West Godavari districts with a powerful political backing.
“Inclusion of Kapus has been a long-pending demand, and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), in its election manifesto in 2014, promised to fulfil their demand. Since such a crucial decision cannot be taken with just an administrative order as it could be struck off by the court, the government appointed the Manjunatha Commission and took the decision based on its report,” minister for human resource development Ganta Srinivasa Rao said after the cabinet meeting.
The cabinet decision along with the Justice Manjunatha Commission report would be tabled in the state assembly on Saturday for approval of the House, after a debate.
However, the quota is unlikely to come into effect immediately, as the total percentage of reservations in the state will go up to 51 (OBCs – 30%, SCs – 15% and STs – 6%). This is beyond the ceiling of 50% prescribed by the Supreme Court in its ruling in the Indira Sawhney case in November 1992.
“It requires an amendment to the Ninth Schedule of the Indian Constitution for inclusion of the Kapus in the OBC category so as to increase the total percentage of reservations to 51, as was done in the case of Tamil Nadu, where there is 69% quota for all categories of weaker sections,” Rao said.
The Naidu government is planning to introduce a bill in the assembly providing 5% quota to Kapus under OBC category and get it passed by the House.
“We will send it to the Centre for approval. Once we get the Centre’s nod, reservations for Kapus will come into effect,” the minister said.