Hyderabad: With the Assembly elections not too far away, Opposition parties are looking to exploit the TRS’ precarious situation on giving reservations to SCs, knowing well that the issue could become the government’s Achilles’ heel in the light of BJP’s rejection of quota claims in the recent Gujarat elections.
Opposition parties are targeting the TRS on caste issues, especially the categorisation of SCs. In the latest development, several parties raised strong objections on the arrest and subsequent remanding of Madiga leader Manda Krishna, besides making it a point to visit Chanchalguda prison where he was lodged.
This is a notso-subtle attempt to gain the support of Madigas who make up a majority of Scheduled Caste groups in Telangana state.
The issue of categorisation of SCs has been on the cards for two decades and the Centre-appointed Justice Usha Mehra Commission favoured amendment to Article 341 in respect of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana state to provide sub-categorisation of reservation given to SCs on the lines of ABCD categorisation of BCs. The Centre has not yet taken any decision on the recommendation of the commission.
Mr Manda Krishna Madiga, has been making efforts in both TS and AP to bring pressure on the state governments to lead all-party delegations to meet the Prime Minister over the issue. While in AP, the Telugu Desam government is very favourable to the proposal as it was Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu who first brought in a sub-categorisation by an executive order which was struck down by court.
The TD is not too happy about Mr Manda Krishna Madiga holding aggressive rallies and dharnas, and even prevented him in organising such an event in Guntur earlier this year. There was a change in TD’s strategy in Andhra Pradesh as they felt sub-categorisation might not go down well with other influential sections as well as groups within the of SCs i.e. Malas in Andhra. But in Telangana, Madigas are more dominating than Malas.
In this background, the Congress, BJP, TD and the Left have started supporting Madigas’ cause, exhibited by all of them attending the massive public meeting organised by Mr Manda Krishna Madiga in the city.
TRS senior leaders and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao did not attend to the meeting. Since then, relations between Mr Manda Krishna Madiga and TRS leaders have soured.
Opposition leaders grabbed this window of opportunity and started meeting Manda Krishna in jail where was remanded in judicial custody for violation of regulations on Tank Bund during World Telugu Conference.
Mr Revanth Reddy, who is now in Congress, and TD leader Motkupally Narasimhulu have already met him in custody. Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu, formerly a top leader of the BJP, attended a Madiga meeting a few months ago and promised Mr Manda Krishna an amendment.
TRS claims it has twice passed resolutions in the state Assembly on the issue, and it is for the Prime Minister to give an appointment for an all-party meeting. However, TRS will not recognise Manda Krishna as a champion of Madigas. It has instead started backing other leaders of splinter groups within the community....