Telangana, Andhra Pradesh squirm as PM says no quota beyond 50 per cent
Hyderabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assertion during campaigning in Gujarat on Monday that the 50 per cent cap on reservation quota decided by the Supreme Court cannot be overruled by political parties, has irked the governments of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Both states have passed Bills recently increasing the reservation quota for various communities above the stipulated 50 per cent.
The Telangana State government has proposed and passed Bills in the State Assembly increasing reservation for the Muslim community from four per cent to 12 per cent, and for Scheduled Tribes from six per cent to 10 per cent, thus taking the overall reservation quota to 62 per cent from the existing 50 per cent.
The Andhra Pradesh government recently passed a Bill in the Assembly providing five per cent reservations to Kapu, Telaga, Balija and Vontari castes, increasing the overall quota to 55 per cent from the existing 50 per cent.
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhara Rao and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu announced in their respective legislatures that the Bills passed in the State Assembly will be sent to the Central Government to include in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution so that the courts will not be able to object to the enhanced quota.
In fact, Mr Rao claimed that he had spoken with the Prime Minister on the matter and had been assured that the issue would be considered positively.
However, while campaigning for the ensuing Gujarat elections, the Prime Minister referring to the Congress party’s promise of providing reservations to the Patidar community in the state said it was not possible to hike the quota, as the 50 per cent cap has been fixed by the Supreme Court and no one can go against it.
“Prime Minister Modi has correctly said about the cap on quota, that it is not possible as of now. States have developed a tendency to promise whatever they think and bring some legislation and send it to the Centre to take political advantage,” BJP state president Dr K Laxman told Deccan Chronicle.