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4 per cent reservation for Muslims in State

Thursday 5 July 2007

Special Correspondent

Cabinet approves quota in education and employment

HYDERABAD: The Rajasekhara Reddy Government has decided to promulgate an ordinance to provide four per cent reservations for Muslims as against five per cent it extended earlier, which was rejected by the Supreme Court.

A meeting of the State Cabinet on Wednesday approved the four per cent quota in education and employment as recommended by the A. P. Commission for Backward Classes headed by Justice Dalva Subrahmanyam in its report submitted to Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Tuesday.

Various options

Ever since the Supreme Court struck down the five per cent quota for Muslims on various, but mainly on the basis that total reservation should not exceed 50 per cent, the State Government has been exploring various options to overcome the legal hurdles and introduce the reservation from the 2007-08 academic year.

In line with the Commission’s report, the Cabinet decided to include 15 groups of Muslims based on their traditional occupations in new and special category “E” in the State list of Backward Classes (BCs). However, this quota is in addition to the existing 25 per cent for the BCs in groups “A” to “D”. With this, the total reservation will reach 50 per cent — 15 per cent for SCs, 6 per cent for STs and 29 per cent for BCs. The Commission’s report provided “sufficient material” like surveys to establish that some sections among Muslims were “socially and economically backward”. In effect, for purposes of reservation, Muslims have been treated as backward and not as a religious group. Decision draws flak

The United Muslim Front comprising religions and political leaders have criticised the Government’s decision on the ground that it sought to divide Muslims along caste lines while the BJP announced its decision to challenge the move in a court of law. Briefing reporters after the Cabinet meet, Minister for Information A. Ramanarayan Reddy and Minister for Minority Welfare Mohd Ali Shabbir said that 10 other groups of Muslims forming the “creamy layer” of the community, had been excluded from the quota.

Mr. Shabbir said the report submitted by P. S. Krishnan, Advisor to Government, was an important input for the Cabinet’s decision.

See online : The Hindu

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