The Telangana government would bring a bill for providing 12% reservation to backward sections among Muslims in the Budget session of Legislative Assembly, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said on Wednesday.
“We will put up the Muslim Reservation Bill in the coming Budget session itself,” he said in the Assembly during a debate on welfare of minorities. The budget session is expected to begin next month.
The 12% reservation to Muslims was a key election promise of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
The state government had appointed a Commission for conducting a study of social and economic status of Muslims and the panel has submitted its report, Rao said in a statement on the issue.
The state government has forwarded the report to the Backward Classes Commission for its opinion.
The BC Commission is gathering views of different groups in the matter for expressing its opinion, Rao said.
“In order to provide 12% reservation to Muslims, a relaxation should be given to the stipulation that the reservations should not exceed 50%.
“The government of Tamil Nadu introduced Act 45/94 and with the consent of Indian Parliament got incorporated the issue of enhancement of reservation in the 9th Schedule of the Indian Constitution. We will follow the same policy in our state also,” Rao said in his statement.
Expressing confidence that the Centre would act favourably on the state’s move to provide 12% quota, he, however, said the state government would also take a legal recourse on the issue if the Centre does not respond positively.
BJP floor leader G Kishan Reddy said the high court had already held that reservations on the basis of religion is against the Constitution.
The issue is also sub-judice as the matter of four per cent quota (being given to backward sections among Muslims that began in undivided AP) is in the Supreme Court, he said.
Rao, however, clarified that the proposed quota is not for Muslim religion.
“I did not say reservation is for Muslim religion. I said clearly in my clarification. We said we will work for the welfare of poor in the group by that name and bring reservation.
“You (Kishan Reddy) said it is sub-judice. There is nothing that Legislative Assembly cannot discuss and pass a bill just because it is sub-judice. We are free to discuss,” he said.