Telangana Congress in a flux on quota

Before extending support to TRS Bill, TPCC wants clarifications.

Hyderabad: The Congress, which had introduced 4 per cent reservations for Backward Muslim communities while in power, is now in a dilemma whether to extend support to the Bill enhancing quota for BC-E Muslims that the ruling TRS will introduce in the Assembly on April 16.

TPCC president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly K. Jana Reddy have convened a meeting of party senior legislators to deliberate on the issue on April 15.

Mr Jana Reddy said: “We will discuss and decide the party stand on the issue on Saturday as it involves both political as well as Constitutional issues.”

It may be mentioned here that the Congress, with the approval of the AICC, had engaged the services of senior advocates of the Supreme Court to defend the Muslim reservation Bill on the 4 per cent quota provided by the Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy government in 2007 in the Supreme Court.

Curiously, now that the TRS government in the state has decided to increase the quota on similar lines, the Congress, being the main Opposition party, is unable to form an opinion on whether to oppose or support the Bill.

“As far as my knowledge goes, consequent to the Supreme Court Constitutional bench’s verdict to review the power of Parliament to include certain State Laws brought under the purview of Article 31 B for protection, the Union government had earlier announced that it will not include any state law in Schedule IX of the Constitution to prevent interference by Courts. If that’s the case, what is the point of the state government bringing a new Act and how will it convince the Centre and Parliament when they have decided not to entertain such demands,” Mr Jana Reddy asked.

He said that per se, the Congress cannot oppose the quota Bill since it was introduced its own government earlier.

However, the party also cannot offer blind support to the Bill without seeking clarification from the Chief Minister on how he goes about getting clearance from the Centre; the ‘modus operandi’ of his so-called ‘war’ against the Centre to achieve the consent for the Bill.

“Not only the Congress, the entire state is entitled to know the moves of the state government in achieving the increased quota for Backward Muslims,” Mr Jana Reddy said.

Replying to a question on the ambiguity of Congress’ support to the Bill, he said he will guide the leaders properly on the subject and party stand will be finalised in Saturday’s meeting.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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