The Modi government has returned the Telangana state government’s legislation enhancing reservation for Muslims in education and jobs from 4 to 12 per cent, without giving approval.

Interestingly, less than a week ago, when BJP President Amit Shah visited the state to launch the party’s poll campaign, he had said the Act was unconstitutional. The Assembly had passed the Act in April 2017 and referred it to Centre for approval.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao met Prime Minister Narendra Modi several times and sought the Centre’s approval but in vain. The Centre had raised certain queries stating that the Act provided for reservations based on religion, which was unconstitutional. It said 12 per cent reservation would violate the 50 per cent quota limit prescribed by the Supreme Court and affect reservations earmarked for BCs, SCs and STs.

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The Act was returned to the TS government by the Ministry of Social Justice and the Ministry of Law and Justice which stated, “The state has not brought out any facts or grounds on the basis of which this Act deserves approval.” These remarks were forwarded to the Telangana government and clarifications sought within a week.

The main objection raised by both the Union ministries was that the provisions of the Telangana legislation were in violation of a 1992 Supreme Court order that capped overall reservations quota at 50 per cent, while the overall reservations in Telangana would reach 62 percent, if this Act were approved. The Telangana unit of the BJP has been opposing the bill tooth and nail. BJP MLAs were suspended from the Assembly when they protested against the bill.

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Interestingly, less than a week ago, when BJP President Amit Shah visited the state to launch the party’s poll campaign, he had said the Act was unconstitutional. The Assembly had passed the Act in April 2017 and referred it to Centre for approval. The TRS government passed the Telangana Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of Appointments or Posts in the Services under the State) Bill, 2017 in the Legislative Assembly in April 2017.

The bill was aimed at increasing Muslim reservation from 4 per cent to 12 per cent and ST reservation from 6 per cent to 10 per cent. During his recent visit to Telangana state, Mr Amit Shah lashed out at the TRS government and the Chief Minister, saying that they were indulging in ‘vote bank and appeasement politics.’ #KhabarLive



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