Uttam wants ordinance on BC quota in PR polls withdrawn

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy today demanded that the TRS government withdraw the “undemocratic ordinance” of December 15 amending PR Act to bring down the reservations for Backward Classes in Panchayat Raj elections. He demanded that the Telangana Government implement the High Court order on conducting caste-wise enumeration of BCs in the State along with a socio-economic survey on their conditions.

“The Congress party disagrees with your government’s ordinance reducing the BC reservation on pretext of Supreme Court verdict. The entire BC community in the State was agitated against reducing the reservations for BCs in Sarpanch and local body elections. The Congress categorically states that reservations for BCs in local body elections must be commensurate with the population percentage of BCs in Telangana,” the TPCC Chief said in an open letter to Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Tuesday.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said the Telangana Government was ignoring the orders of the High Court that were issued in W.P. No. 20477/2016 dated June 26, 2018 directing the State Government to conduct detailed investigation with regard to backwardness of population, collect data, invite objections from general public, analyze 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.

Uttam Kumar Reddy also objected to conduct 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.

Uttam Kumar Reddy demanded that the State Government immediately withdraw ordinance of amending PR Act and do justice to BCs by providing reservations in proportionate to their population. He also demanded that the government implement High Court orders to conduct BC caste enumeration and survey of their backwardness to fix their reservations and implement ABCDE categorization in PR polls. He said that the electoral rolls must be rectified by ensuring that all deleted voters are re-entered in the list and democratic right for voting is protected.