Hyderabad: A massive agitation with the intensity of the fight for Telangana statehood is in the offing on the issue of quota hike.
TRS MPs, had stalled the Lok Sabha proceedings demanding constitutional amendments empowering States to decide on increasing the quota for backward classes. And now, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao is firm on making it part of his national agenda. To begin with, a demonstration is likely to be organised at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi involving all MPs, MLAs, MLCs and if necessary other elected representatives from Telangana shortly, according to party sources.
The Chief Minister, K Chandrashekhar Rao, it is said, is in favour of bringing several political leaders to a single platform on this issue as he did during agitation for a separate Telangana. He is of the view that the quota issue was not just concerning Telangana, but an issue that affected all other States. It is understood that Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and DMK leader from Tamil Nadu, Stalin and a host of leaders from other states are expected to express their solidarity with Telangana during the proposed protest.
TRS sources said that the Chief Minister was unhappy over the decision of the Centre and believed that in the prevailing circumstances there was not a single political party at the national level, which could fathom the people’s issues and respond accordingly.
During discussions with party leaders, Chandrashekhar Rao is stated to have differed with the comments made by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions in its memorandum on the Telangana Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Reservation Bill sent to centre. The Ministry had maintained that “the Government of Telangana has not brought out any facts or grounds on the basis of which the proposal which is in violation of the orders of the Supreme Court, would deserve to be accorded approval”.
The necessity of having a strategic approach to get the benefits due to people was emphasised by the Chief Minister. He, it was said, had recalled how, during the separate Telangana statehood agitation, the reservation issue figured in discussions where many felt that a day would come when quota issue would trigger an agitation, as different states had different quota systems.
Chandrashekhar Rao reminded his party colleagues that it was the then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao, who had suggested to Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa that should have an Act enhancing the quota for BCs and got it included in the 9th Schedule of the Constitution. PV government needed the support of AIADMK at that time. The matter had reached the Supreme Court and but is not settled yet. Meanwhile Maharashtra also has started implementing 52% reservation. It indicated that there is no uniform law covering all States.
But when Telangana requested for inclusion of quota system in 9th Schedule, there was no positive response from the Centre. As per the decision of Supreme Court, Telangana has submitted to Government of India quantifiable and impeccable data on reservations.