Telangana: Congress demands withdrawal of ordinance on BC quota in Panchayat elections

Hyderabad: In a letter to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Uttam Kumar Reddy demanded the withdrawal of an ordinance dated December 15, amending PR act, 2018 to bring down the reservations for Backward Classes in Panchayat Raj elections.

Reddy also demanded that the Telangana Government implements the High Court’s order on conducting a caste-wise enumeration of Backward Classes in the state along with a socio-economic survey on their conditions.

Terming the ordinance ‘undemocratic’, Reddy wrote, “The Congress party disagrees with your government’s ordinance reducing the BC reservation quota with a pretext of Supreme Court verdict. The entire BC community of Telangana is agitated about reducing the reservations for BCs in Sarpanch and local body elections. The Congress party categorically states that reservations for BCs in local body elections must be commensurate with the population percentage of BCs in Telangana.”

Further, the TPCC Chief said that Telangana Government has been ignoring orders of the High Court orders that were issued, directing the State Government to conduct detailed investigation with regard to backwardness of population, collect data, invite objections from general public, analyse the same and then fix the reservation in favor of Backward Classes in accordance with the directions of a division bench of High Court in “Nimmaka Jaya Raj Vs The Government of Andhra Pradesh”.

The Telangana Government has deliberately ignored the High Court order and nothing was done for enumeration of BC voters in the State, he alleged.

Reddy also objected to conducting of Panchayat Raj elections by the State Election Commission on defective electoral rolls that were used for recently held Assembly elections.

“Nearly 22 lakh eligible voters were missing from the electoral rolls and Chief Electoral Officer Dr Rajat Kumar has admitted the same. As per the schedule for summary revision of electoral rolls announced by the Election Commission of India, the Integrated Draft Electoral Rolls will be published on December 26; Claims and Objections will be received from 26th December to 25th January: Claims and Objections will be disposed of before 11th February; updating database and printing of supplement will be done before 18th February and Final Publication of Photo Electoral Rolls will be done on 22nd February 2019 Therefore, we feel that there is no point in holding the Panchayat Raj elections without waiting for revised electoral rolls. After all, elections are meant for people to elect their representative and when so many lakhs of citizens are being deprived of their voting right. It surely is a mockery of democracy being done by the ruling government,” he said.

He also said that the electoral rolls must be rectified by ensuring that all deleted voters are re-entered in the list and democratic right.