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TAMIL NADU

State Government willing to provide reservation for minorities: Karunanidhi

Monday 28 May 2007

Special Correspondent

"Ordinance this week if a similar scheme is in force in Kerala, Karnataka"

CHENNAI: The State Government is ready to issue an ordinance this week on reservation for the minorities if a similar scheme is in force in Kerala and Karnataka, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said on Sunday.

Participating in the valedictory of the seventh international Islamic Tamil conference, Mr. Karunanidhi said that according to information available to him, there were legal hurdles to the quota arrangement in the neighbouring States.

"But, if reservation exists [in these States], we will issue the ordinance this week. The Governor (present on the occasion) will sign it," the Chief Minister said. Mr. Karunanidhi was referring to observations of S.M. Hidyatullah, general secretary of the Islamic Literary Society (Islamia Illakia Kazhagam) that in Karnataka and Kerala, four per cent reservation within the quota for backward classes had been given to Muslims. He said that if this was not possible, the quota for the Muslims could be given from the share of most backward classes and the Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S. Ramadoss would not object to it as he was also in favour of the quota for Muslims.

Rahman Khan, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, recalled that when he was the chairman of the Minorities Commission in Karnataka in 1993, a socio-economic survey was carried out covering one million families of the minorities.

Based on the survey, the then Chief Minister M. Veerappa Moily ordered 4 per cent reservation and it was upheld by the High Court.

Mr. Karunanidhi, who received the Umaru Pulavar award from the Governor Surjit Singh Mr. Barnala, was given a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh. by Mr. Khan.

The Chief Minister said that the prize money would equally be shared equally among five Muslim students pursuing engineering courses.

Referring to another demand made by the organisers for a postal stamp on the scholar Sheikh Thambi Pavalar, the Chief Minister advised the Communications Minister A. Raja, who was present at the function, to take necessary steps.

Recounting how the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam had been a friend of the Muslims, Mr. Karunanidhi said his party would remain so.

Mr. Barnala said Tamil Nadu stood as a role model to other States for peace, development and communal harmony.

He called upon the people to promote unity and harmony among all religions.

See online : The Hindu

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