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“Minorities quota will turn reality”

Friday 6 July 2007

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said here on Thursday that reservation in government jobs and education for minorities would definitely become a reality.

Answering a question relating to the decision of the Andhra Pradesh Government’s ordinance to provide reservation in jobs, he said the Tamil Nadu Government too intended to make reservation for Muslims and minorities a reality.

Quoting from a statement issued by Dravidar Kazhagam founder K. Veeramani, he said the minorities were justified in seeking reservation in jobs and education. His Government was giving serious thought to the issue since it did not want an ordinance issued to be challenged in court. A committee, comprising legal experts and officials, had been constituted to examine the issue. This was the reason why the Government was not rushing to a decision on the reservation issue. This did not mean it had given up on the idea of reservation for minorities.

On elections to cooperatives, Mr. Karunanidhi said when the DMK Government came to power in 1989, it conducted the elections. After the AIADMK came to power in 1991, the elected bodies were dismissed. The AIADMK general secretary announced she would hold the elections, but nothing happened as long as her government was in power.

Again, after the DMK came back to power in 1996, polls to cooperative bodies were held. Though Ms. Jayalalithaa levelled many allegations on the conduct of the polls, the fact was that many AIADMK men also won the polls. He recalled that after Ms. Jayalalithaa came back to power in 2001, she dismissed the cooperative bodies.

Till 2001, the elected bodies were granting new memberships. But, after the dismissal of the elected bodies and appointment of Special Officers to head the bodies, an amendment was introduced to the Tamil Nadu Cooperatives Act through an ordinance to enable Special Officers recruit new members. This paved the way for granting memberships on a large scale to AIADMK men, Mr. Karunanidhi said. Some people interested in the smooth functioning of cooperatives approached the Courts to rectify the situation. In December 2005, a three-judge Bench struck down the amendment. Ms. Jayalalithaa has announced a boycott of the elections because she knows people will not vote for her party, he said.

See online : The Hindu

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