Congress sees threat to 4% Muslim reservation

Hyderabad: Former Minister and ex-Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir expressed fear that the 4% reservation for Muslims in jobs and education, being implemented in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, might be taken away.

He was addressing the prize distribution function for students who participated in various competitions held on 4% Muslim quota in Classical Function Hall, Kamareddy on Friday.

“4% reservation in jobs and education has so far empowered nearly 20 lakh poor Muslims under BC-E category in both Telugu States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana since 2004-05. Previous Congress regime had implemented the Muslim quota in 58 days after coming to power in 2004.

Even after losing power in 2014, Congress party has been fighting vigorously to protect the 4% Muslim quota, whose case is going on in the Supreme Court. However, the way BJP Government is functioning at the Centre and the manner in which TRS Govt is pursuing the hidden agenda against Muslims have increased fears over continuation of Muslim quota.

Therefore, it is the responsibility of all citizens to protect the quota which has helped over 2 million poor Muslims,” Shabbir Ali said in his speech.

Shabbir Ali reminded that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao won the confidence of Muslim community by promising to implement 12% Muslim reservation within four months after coming to power. Even after six years, there are no signs of this promise getting implemented.

Instead, he said that the State Government did not reply to various queries sent by the Central Government regarding Telangana Reservation Bill. KCR is completely silent on the issue and no TRS leader is in a position to tell the exact status of the Bill.

“Muslims and STs have been openly cheated by the TRS Government on enhancement of quota and now PM Narendra Modi and CM KCR’s regimes might target the ongoing quota,” he said.

The Congress leader accused the TRS regime of targeting the minority institutions in Telangana State. He said more than 80% of minority colleges were shut down since TRS came to power. This was done by not releasing the Fee Reimbursement dues which pushed colleges into huge financial crisis resulting in their abrupt closure.

He said thousand of minority students were forced to discontinue their higher studies as KCR Govt shrunk the opportunities.

Wakf Board is in a pathetic state with the promised judicial powers not seeing the light of the day. Urdu Academy is still waiting for its Governing Body for the last six years although the Chairman was appointed six days before dissolution of Assembly in October 2018, he said.

Shabbir Ali accused KCR of targeting the institutions dealing with welfare of minorities in a systematic manner. He said funds for minorities’ welfare were reduced by nearly half and not even 50% of them have actually been spent.

“The only scheme, which is directly benefitting the poor Muslims in Telangana (and also in Andhra Pradesh) is 4% quota in jobs and education, was started by Congress Govt in 2004. But now that scheme too is under serious threat,” he warned.

Shabbir Ali said that the Congress party has decided to create awareness among the young generation regarding the benefits of 4% Muslim reservation.

Therefore, he said a massive campaign has been launched across Telangana State wherein school and college students are being supplied some study material on the struggle and importance of 4% Muslim quota and they are being encouraged to appear for essay writing, elocution, quiz and other competitions.

“We want to sensitize all poor Muslims about the advantages of having 4% reservation and therefore, they are being made aware of how and why this was given and why this should be protected,” he said.

He expressed happiness over the tremendous response this campaign got so far. He said more than 1200 school students took part in the competitions held in Hyderabad on February 15 and nearly 2,000 students participated in the competitions held in Kamareddy town on Friday. He said similar competitions and awareness programmes would be held in all district headquarters of Telangana.

An audio-visual presentation was also given on the struggle and achievements of 4% Muslim reservation in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. (INN)

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