Hyderabad: The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen has urged the BC Commission to suggest fool-proof legal measures to overcome the restrictions imposed by the Supreme Court on the total quantum of reservations for different sections of society in Telangana State, especially when the other southern States have higher quantum of reservations for OBCs.
The move to extend reservations to only those sections of Muslims who have been identified selectively as “socially and educationally backward classes” in the State on the basis of the Krishnan Committee report was struck down by the AP High Court in 2010.
The Karnataka and Kerala governments have given reservations to entire Muslim community as a group without resorting to dividing them in to artificial caste groups. In Tamil Nadu, the total reservations for SCs, STs and BCs is 69 per cent and the Constitution 76th Amendment was enacted by Parliament to put the Tamil Nadu Act 45 of 1994 (relating to reservations) in the Ninth Schedule so that it could get protection under Article 31 B of the Constitution with regard to judicial review, the Majlis said.
In a detailed memorandum submitted to the BC Commission, Majlis floor leader in Assembly, Akbaruddin Owaisi, said except for the BJP and other Sangh parivar outfits, there was unanimity among all political parties in the State on the issue of Muslim reservations, a long standing demand of Majlis.
He recalled how way back in 1968 when the Anantharaman Commission was constituted, the Majlis led by Abdul Wahed Owaisi, made a plea for inclusion of Muslims in BC list. When NK Muralidhara Rao Commission was set up in 1982, Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi made a strong representation for reservations to Muslims. Congress was the first party to promise five per cent reservations for Muslims in its manifesto.
Right from 2008 the party was building up pressure on the successive governments to protect the reservations provided to the SEBC Muslims. “I urge the Commission to recommend 12 per cent reservations for the socially and educationally backward Muslims and to ensure that the major sections of Muslims are covered under these reservations,” Owaisi said.
He said that Rajinder Sachar Committee, Ranganath Misra Commission, and Kundu Committee at the national level and the Commission of Inquiry on socio-economic and educational conditions of Muslims in the State of Telangana (Sudhir Commission) had strongly recommended for affirmative action in favour of backward sections of Muslim community through provision of reservations in education and public employment.
Sudhir Commission presented exhaustive data on the demographic profile, educational status, health status, living conditions, economic conditions, access to credit and financial inclusion, status of women of the Muslim community in Telangana State besides Muslim in government employment. The Sudhir Commission also made a pitch for affirmative action for development of Muslims by building up a strong case for reservations for the backward Muslims in Telangana State.
The Majlis leader assured unstinted support and cooperation to the Commission, and, hoped it would look at the issue in a comprehensive manner and complete its task at the earliest.