Under fire from Kapu community, Jagan Reddy appoints panel to study quota
The Kapu community had protested the recent decision of the YSRC government to withdraw five per cent reservations for them under Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota by the previous Telugu Desam Party government before the recent elections.Updated: Jul 29, 2019 18:29 IST
YSR Congress party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday constituted a three-member committee to look into the demand for providing reservations to politically predominant Kapu community in education and employment.
The committee comprising state agriculture minister K Kanna Babu, MLC Ummareddy Venkateshwarlu and MLA Ambati Rambabu will study the demand for Kapu reservations and the Central government’s stand on quota to various castes and will work out a solution for the same. A time frame for the panel has not yet been announced.
The decision to appoint the three-member panel follows strong protests from the Kapu community to the latest decision of the YSRC government withdrawing five per cent reservations for Kapus under Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota by the previous Telugu Desam Party government before the recent elections.
The government issued an order on Saturday night issued seeking to implement 10 per cent reservation to Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) among forward castes in the filling up of supernumerary seats in educational institutions during 2019-20 academic year, as per the 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 2019.
This order replaces an earlier order issued by the Chandrababu Naidu government which provided five per cent quota to Kapus out of the 10 per cent reservation for EWS introduced by the Narendra Modi government. “As such, the quota for Kapu community stand cancelled,” the official said.
During a debate in the state assembly last week, Jagan accused Naidu of misleading the Kapu community by providing five per cent reservation to Kapus out of the total 10 per cent for EWS.
“This has resulted in stalling of admissions in educational institutions with some people approaching court on the issue. At least two petitions were filed in the high court challenging the then government’s decision,” he pointed out.
The latest order of the Jagan government created an uproar in the Kapu community. On
Monday, former MP Mudragada Padmanabham, who had been fighting for inclusion of Kapus in the OBC list for the last two decades, dashed off a letter to the chief minister opposing the decision.
He sought to know whether the court had issued any stay on implementation of five per cent quota for Kapus under EWS quota. He wondered whether Jagan wanted to silence the Kapus by allotting Rs 2,000 crore to Kapu’s welfare corporation in the budget.
Padmanabham, who was also a four-time MLA, spearheaded massive agitations including the violent one at Tuni in East Godavari district in January 2016, when the agitators set fire to Visakhpatnam-bound Ratnachal Express demanding reservations for the Kapu community.
Kapu leader of TDP and former deputy chief minister N Chinna Rajappa described Jagan’s move to scrap five per cent quota to Kapus as a big blow to the community. “He has betrayed the community which voted for him,” he said.
Politically a strong community in Andhra, Kapus and their affiliated caste groups like Balijas, Telagas and Ontaris, constitute 15.2 per cent of the total population in the state spread over all parts of the state, but are predominant in East and West Godavari districts which are considered as Kapu belt.
During the recent elections, there were apprehensions in the YSRC that actor and Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan, who is a Kapu, will split the community votes, but they voted largely in favour of YSRC as was evident from the party winning 27 out of 34 seats in East and West Godavari districts.
First Published: Jul 29, 2019 18:29 IST