Telangana CM pledges 12% quota for Muslims in jobs


New Delhi: Firm in his mission to provide reservation for Muslims and other religious minorities, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has extended several state benefits for them and vowed to move the Supreme Court in case the Centre does not second its decision to provide 12% quota for minorities in government jobs and educational institutions.

Replying to a short discussion on `Minority Welfare’ in the Assembly on Thursday during which he ordered an inquiry into waqf land, the CM announced several measures for minorities, including 4% quota in all state welfare schemes, including housing and three acres to the landless, on a par with what was granted to Sche duled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST). Stating that Urdu has its origins in Hyderabad, the CM announced that it would be the second official language of the state and that all competitive examinations would henceforth be conducted in the language as well.

But KCR’s focus was on ensuring 12% reservation for Muslims and other religious minorities in government jobs and education. “I have appealed to P M Narendra Modi to incorporate 12% reservation for minorities in the IX Schedule of the Constitution to overcome legal hurdles (the Supreme Court has imposed a 50% ceiling on reservation) on the lines of Tamil Nadu, which has been providing 69% reservations,” the CM said. “I am optimistic that the Centre will consider our request. If it rejects it, we will not hesitate to move the SC and get notices issued to the Centre. If needed, an all-party delegation will be taken to New Delhi to meet the PM on the issue,” the CM added.

The TRS had included provision of 12% quota for minorities in its election manifesto in 2014. After coming to power, the Telangana Assembly passed a resolution enhancing the quota to 12% for minorities (from 4%) and 10% for STs in government jobs and education and sent the Bill to the Centre for ratification. The Union government has been sitting on it. If there is no response from the Centre to the latest missive, TRS MPs would raise the issue in Parliament, he said. “If quota issue is not settled soon, as is likely, TRS will make it a poll issue in 2019,” said a party source.

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