The Andhra Pradesh government on Monday decided to challenge in the Supreme Court the verdict of the high court quashing a legislation for four percent reservation to Muslims in education and jobs.
Immediately after the seven-member constitutional bench delivered its verdict, Chief Minister K. Rosaiah directed the state advocate general to file a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court.
A statement from the chief minister's office said he has directed the advocate general to take necessary action immediately for filing the SLP in the Supreme Court against the judgement of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) staged a protest outside the state secretariat demanding that the government take immediate steps to protect the four percent reservation.
Former minister and Congress party leader Mohammed Ali Shabbir said the government was committed to provide reservations to Muslims and would take all steps to protect the interests of the community.
Shabbir clarified that the reservations were provided only to the economically and socially backward classes among Muslims and not to the entire community.
Main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) vice-president Lal Jan Basha said the government was not sincere in providing reservations to Muslims as it failed to put up strong arguments in support of the legislation.
Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) said Muslims deserved reservations as they were more backward than Scheduled Castes. TRS legislator Harish Rao said a constitutional amendment should be brought for the purpose.
He said TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao had already promised 12 percent reservation to Muslims in the proposed Telangana state.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) welcomed the court verdict. "Our stand that reservations should not be provided on the basis of religion stands vindicated. This is the defeat of vote bank politics of the Congress party," said BJP state president Bandaru Dattatreya.