Hyderabad: The sudden announcement of 10 per cent reservations for economically backward classes by BJP-led NDA government ahead of the elections comes amid the demands of Muslims in Telangana state, the Kapu community in AP and several caste groups across the country seeking quotas.
Legal experts said the Centre’s decision was not tenable. They said there was no scope in the Constitution under Articles 15 and 16 to provide reservations on economic grounds. It was expected that the Centre’s decision on EBC reservations may provoke the quota movement in the Telugu states.
The TS Legislature in 2016 had passed a Bill to increase reservation in jobs and education for Muslims to 12 per cent. Implementing this would have exceeded the Supreme Court’s 50 per cent ceiling the reservations.
The Telangana state government sent the Bill to the Centre and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao himself has requested the Prime Minister Narendra Modi several occasions on this issue.
Given the Supreme Court cap on reservations, the state government asked the Centre to amend the Constitution.
The TS government also asked the Centre to include the 12 per cent reservations for Muslims in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution as was done in Tamil Nadu where the overall quota stands at 69 per cent. The Supreme Court cannot adjudicate on matters listed the Ninth Schedule.
The NDA government set aside the Telangana Bill and did not send it to the President for his approval.
In the recent Assembly elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah opposed reservations for Muslims in their campaign speeches.
In AP, the Kapu community leaders are demanding 10 per cent reservations to their community. Former minister and Kapunadu leader Mudragada Padmanabham is leading the moment for reservations for the community.
The AP government has constituted a committee to look the demand. The Kapu leaders had also requested the Centre to provide 10 per cent reservations to the community.
The Centre’s decision to provide EBC reservations will also the benefit Kapu commuity. But there are conditions to qualify and it is suspected that few will actually be eligible for it. Community leaders felt it would benefit them more if 10 per cent quota was given to them....