Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday moved a bill in the State legislative assembly to hike reservation quota for backward Muslims and the Scheduled Tribes (ST) to 12 and 10 per cent respectively.
As soon as the day-long special session began, the Chief Minister moved the Backward Class, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Reservation Bill, 2017, to increase the quota for socially and economically backward among Muslims under the Backward Classes (E) category from the existing four per cent to 12 percent.
The reservations for STs in education and jobs has been increased from 6 per cent to 10 per cent.
The bill will be passed by both houses of the legislature after a debate and it will be sent to the Centre for President's assent and with a request to include it in the 9th Schedule of the Constitution as it was done in the case of Tamil Nadu.
The Chief Minister clarified that the reservations were being provided purely on the basis of socio-economic backwardness and not on the basis of religion or caste as some parties were trying to mislead people.
Terming it as a historic day, Rao said Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had during the elections promised that quota for the BC (E) and the STs will be increased in proportion to their population in the state.
He pointed out that STs are currently enjoying 6 percent quota though their population as per 2011 Census is 9.8 percent.
He assured Backward Classes that there will be no injustice to them because of increase in quota for the BC (E) and announced that the quota for the BCs will be increased. The state government has directed the BC Commission to submit a report within six months.
Rao also said that the reservation for the SCs, who constitute 16.3 per cent of the state's population, will be increased by one per cent. He said the government would soon constitute an SC Commission.
The SCs are currently enjoying 15 per cent reservations while the BCs have a total quota of 25 per cent.
The legislation will increase the total reservations in the state to 62 per cent.
The Chief Minister argued that there is no constitutional bar on providing more than 50 per cent reservation.
Rao said with 90 per cent of Telangana's population comprising the BCs, SCs, STs and minorities, the state definitely needed more than 50 per cent reservation, and pointed out that states like Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand were already providing more than 50 per cent quota.