HYDERABAD: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao on Saturday announced that the government would enhance reservations to 10 per cent for Scheduled Tribes (STs) in education and employment from next week, from six per cent at present.
He also announced that the government would implement Girijan Bandhu for landless ST community families soon by extending Rs. 10 lakh each on par with Dalit Bandhu, after giving ownership rights to eligible tribals on podu lands.
I have waited for long. I cannot wait any longer. For this reason, I have decided to issue a GO next week implementing the 10 per cent quota for STs, Rao said at a mammoth public meeting, titled ‘Telangana Adivasi-Banjara Atmiya Sabha,’ at NTR Stadium here.
The Chief Minister said that he was fed up of repeatedly requesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to approve the 10 per cent quota for the ST community for over five years. It could not wait any longer for the Centre's approval, he said. A GO would be issued on the enhanced reservation, irrespective of whether it has the Centre's approval or not.
Rao asked Modi to decide for himself whether he would facilitate implementation of the GO or make it a ‘a rope to hang himself’ by blocking it.
The Assembly had passed the Telangana Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of Appointments or Posts in the Services under the State) Bill, 2017 enhancing reservations for the ST community from six to 10 per cent and for Muslims from four per cent to 12 percent under BC-E category. The Bill was referred to the Centre for approval, where it is pending. Incidentally, the Bill violates the 50 per cent upper ceiling on reservations prescribed by the Supreme Court.
If the government implements the 10 per cent quota for the ST community from next week by issuing a GO, as announced by the CM, the total reservations will go up to 54 per cent. It will go up to 62 per cent if the Centre approves enhanced quotas for STs and Muslims.
The total reservations in Telangana for the BC, SC and ST communities currently stand at 50 per cent, in line with the Supreme Court cap.
"Tamil Nadu is implementing 69 per cent reservations. The Centre has given exemption to Tamil Nadu by incorporating it under the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution to ensure that it cannot be challenged in any court. Why can't the Centre extend the same exemption to Telangana? What is stopping the Prime Minister and Union home minister Amit Shah from enhancing quota for STs in Telangana in the last five years," Rao asked.
He claimed that if the Centre approves the TS reservations Bill, it would easily get the President's assent as President Droupadi Murmu belongs to ST category and she would not hesitate in giving her nod, he said.
Rao pointed out that there was no provision in the Constitution to bar reservations based on the ratio of population.
"In the undivided Andhra Pradesh, six per cent reservations were given to STs in proportion to their population. After bifurcation, the ST population in Telangana increased to 10 per cent. Telangana fulfills all the conditions to extend the 10 per cent quota for STs in proportion to their population," he said.
The Chief Minister said that he had personally met Modi several times and had written several letters to him seeking the Centre's approval to enhance the quota for the ST community.
He promised to implement Rs.10-lakh-per-family Girijan Bandhu for the landless tribals after the pending podu lands issues are resolved.
"We have set up coordination committees in all districts to resolve podu land issues. All the eligible families will get ownership rights on podu lands. I have asked the chief secretary to give the list of landless tribals who will be extended Girijan Bandhu," Rao said.
- 50% Total reservations in Telangana. (BCs 25%; BC-E (Muslims4%; SCs 15%; STs 6%)
- 54% Reservations if ST quota hiked to 10%, breaching SC-mandated 50% cap
- State Bill with 10% ST quota, 12% Muslim quota pending with the Centre
- 62% reservations if all quotas in 2017 TS bill are approved
- CM to extend Rs. 10-lakh-a-family Girajan Bandhu to landless tribals
- Tribals with podu land to get Rythu Bandhu