Telangana ready for legal battle over Muslim quota: KCR

HYDERABAD: Telangana will wage a legal battle if the Centre refuses to ensure increased reservation for socially and economically backward among Muslims and Scheduled Tribes, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao said on Thursday.

He told the Assembly that he was confident the Centre will accept the state’s demand to include the state legislation in the 9th Schedule of the Indian Constitution to this effect but said the state will approach the Supreme Court if necessary.

He said the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) will also raise the issue in the winter session of Parliament.

In April, the Assembly passed a legislation, increasing the quota for the two categories to 12 and 10 per cent respectively.

Socially and economically backward among the Muslims under the Backward Classes (E) category currently enjoy 4 per cent quota in educational institutions and government jobs while STs have 6 per cent reservation.

The inclusion in the 9th Schedule will provide the legislation immunity from judicial review.

As the hike in quota for Muslims and STs will take overall reservation in Telangana to 62 per cent, the state is urging the Centre to include it in the 9th Schedule as was done in case of Tamil Nadu, where the total reservation is 69 per cent.

The Chief Minister told the house that the issue was under the Centre’s consideration and claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had responded positively to his demand and promised to take up the matter at an appropriate time.

He said, if needed, he will lead an all-party delegation to meet Modi and seek an assurance that the legislation will be included in the 9th Schedule.

He stressed that nobody should have any doubts over his government’s commitment to increased quota for Muslims.

The TRS chief said the state’s social composition was such that there was a need to increase reservation to do justice to the socially and economically backward sections.

“When a legislation can be made and included in the 9th Schedule for Tamil Nadu, why not for Telangana?” he asked.