Hyderabad, March 23, 2022: Former Minister & ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir accused both TRS Govt in Telangana and BJP Govt at the Centre of misleading the people on the issue of increasing the quota for Scheduled Tribes in the State.
Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan on Wednesday, Shabbir Ali strongly condemned the statement of Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Bishweswar Tudu for stating that the Centre did not receive any proposal for enhancement of ST reservations in the State. He said that the Telangana Assembly and Council unanimously passed a Bill for enhancing the ST quota from existing 6% to 10% on April 16, 2016. Another Bill to enhance the Muslim quota from 4% to 12% was also passed on the same day. Both the Bills were later sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs for the President of India’s ascent.
“As the then Leader of Opposition in Council, I participated in the debate and the Congress party supported the Bill. The Union Minister should be dismissed for misleading the Parliament and the country,” he demanded.
However, Shabbir Ali said the passing of the Bill to enhance the ST quota was only a half-truth. “TRS Govt did not follow up with the Centre after passing the Bill in the Legislature. It did not even respond to the letters sent by the Union Ministry of Home seeking clarifications on the enhancement of ST Quota,” he claimed.
Shabbir Ali shared a letter written by Deputy Secretary to Govt of India M. Dilip Kumar to Ministry of Home Affairs on 18th December 2017 wherein he recommended enhancement in the quota to 9.08% as the ST population in Telangana, as per 2011 census, was 9.08%. Later, Union Secretary (Judicial & PP) Thangkholun Haokip wrote another letter to Telangana Legislature S. Raja Sadaram on 2nd January 2018 seeking “requisite clarifications” of the State Govt.
The Congress leader said that the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension Department of Personnel Training Establishment (Reservation-1) Section, North Block, New Delhi wrote four letters to the Telangana Govt seeking ‘details and material’ in support of enhancing reservation.
Shabbir Ali said when G. Kishan Reddy was inducted in the Union Cabinet as Minister of State for Home Affairs, he wrote a letter to him on 20th October 2019 to take up the issue of Bills passed by Telangana Govt to enhance Muslim BC-E quota from 4% to 12% and ST quota from 6% to 10%. However, he said Kishan Reddy never responded to his letter.
Alleging that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao never wanted to enhance the ST quota, Shabbir Ali showed a clip of debate in the Legislative Council wherein KCR admitted that the Bill being passed in the House would not stand legal scrutiny and it would be sent back. “There is a basic simple rule which gets applied in giving reservation to any community. It cannot exceed the percentage of their total population in the State. The ST population in Telangana, as per the 2011 Census, was 9.08%. But KCR brought a Bill to enhance the ST quota to 10%. Similarly, the BC Commission recommended that the reservation for poor Muslims under the BC-E category can be increased from the present 4% to 10%. But KCR Govt proposed a 12% reservation. These were major flaws in the Bills introduced by the TRS Govt and they were bound to be challenged by the Centre and in the courts. Further, KCR Govt did nothing after formally sending the unanimously passed Bills to the Centre. Consequently, even after five years, neither STs nor Muslims got any enhancement in their quotas,” he said.
Shabbir Ali said both TRS and BJP Govts cheated the STs on the enhancement of quota. Now both the ruling parties are indulging in blame games to divert people’s attention. “The TRS Govt can enhance the ST quota to 9% by just issuing a GO as it was done in the past during late N.T. Rama Rao’s regime. However, by just adding a 1% additional quota (10%) in the Bill, KCR deprived the STs of an additional 3% (6% to 9%) for the last seven years. Lakhs of ST students would’ve got admissions in colleges and a higher share in jobs if TRS Govt would have increased the quota to 9%. Since KCR is anti-ST, he created enough ground for the proposed enhanced quotas of STs and Muslims to face legal hurdles and get quashed in the courts,” he said.
The Congress leader said that the ongoing ‘fight’ between the TRS and BJP leaders over the ST quota was bogus and none of them was serious about increasing the reservation for Scheduled Tribes. He demanded that the TRS Govt release a GO to enhance the ST reservation from existing 6% to 9% if it was really sincere towards the Tribal communities.