TDP demands bill to reserve jobs for Muslims
The TDP on Sunday dared the Congress-led UPA government to introduce a bill in Parliament to provide for 5% reservations to Muslims in jobs.india Updated: May 28, 2006 23:25 IST
In the midst of raging debate over the OBC quota, the TDP on Sunday dared the Congress-led UPA government to introduce a bill in Parliament to provide for five per cent reservations to Muslims in jobs and educational institutions.
Holding its annual general meeting Mahanadu in the coastal Andhra town of Rajahmundry, the regional party asserted that it would extend full support to the UPA Government if it came forward with such a legislation and also the much-awaited Bill on one-third reservation for women in legislative bodies.
On the second day of the three-day Mahanadu, being attended by over 12,000 party delegates, the TDP passed two resolutions pledging its commitment to reservations for Muslims and Women.
In his remarks on the resolution on "injustice to women and neglect of women welfare", the party supremo and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu made a scathing attack on the Congress for its failure to take any initiative on women's reservation bill despite the party being headed by a woman.
He dared the ruling party to take immediate steps in this regard to prove its commitment for women empowerment.
"Our party fully supports the issue since women constituted 50 per cent of the total population," Naidu said.
Referring to the proposed reservations for Muslims in Andhra Pradesh, Naidu charged the Congress government with cheating the minorities by deliberately allowing loopholes in the quota ordinance, which has since been quashed by the High Court.
"We are prepared to support the UPA government if it introduced a Bill in Parliament on Muslim reservations," Naidu said.
Recalling the circumstances under which his party had extended outside support to the previous BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, Naidu asserted that it was conditional and the party never made any compromise on secularism.
Preserving secularism and the integrated status of the linguistic states were the two conditions we had set for supporting the NDA, he said.
Naidu also made it clear that his party had no relationship with the BJP now.
The TDP senior leader Lal Jan Basha, who moved the resolution on Muslim reservation, assailed the Congress for 'using' minorities as vote bank.
He appealed to the minorities to support TDP in the Panchayat elections, slated for next month.
The former Rajya Sabha member and President of the TDP women's wing V Geetha, who moved the resolution on women empowerment, lashed out at the Congress Government for its failure to implement women welfare programmes during the last two years.