Hyderabad: AICC General Sectaray Digvijay Singh has described the Telangana Reservation Bill, passed by the State Legislature recently to enhance quota for Muslims and STs, as faulty and feared that it might jeorpardise the ongoing 4% Muslim reservation in the State.
Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan on Friday, Digvijay Singh said that he was unable to understand the logic of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao behind introducing the Reservation Bill.
He said that the State Government was empowered to increase the reservation percentage for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in proportionate to their population in the State, as per last Census. Therefore, he said the quota could have been increased by just issuing a GO (Government Order) and it required no special legislation.
However, he said that the TRS Government not only brought a legislation to increase ST reservation from 6% to 10%, but also merged it with BC-E reservation meant for socially and educationally backward groups of Muslims.
Digvijay Singh said that the case of 4% Muslim reservation, introduced by previous YSR Government, was pending in the Supreme Court. Although the BC Commission proposed increase in Muslim quota to 10%, KCR increased it to 12% which might be challenged in the court.
Further, the moment overall reservation crossed the 50% ceiling set by the Supreme Court, it was bound to be challenged in the country. “My apprehension is that it will jeopardise the existing 4% reservation which Muslims are getting at the moment, because that will be again reopened.
The whole exercise of TRS Government is basically to confuse the issue and make it contentious so that it is challenge in the court and gets stalled,” he said.
He accused KCR of taking everyone in the State for a ride by making fake promises and giving false hopes through a law which is by itself fault. He said that the Congress party supports reservation and therefore, its legislators supported the Bill. However, he said that the Congress leaders have also expressed their apprehensions on the damages that might be caused due to the faulty Bill.
The Congress leader said that the TRS Government has opened many windows of controversies. He said when Muslims, with a population of a little over 13% population are getting 12% reservation, the BCs with 52% population would demand increase in their quota from present 25% to 50%.
He said that the Reservation Bill has been designed to be faulty so that it could create confusion and make the entire issue contentious. He ridiculed the claims of KCR that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would support the Reservation Bill.
He said Modi, as the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, had refused to even distribute scholarships to Muslims students given by the Central Government. Therefore, Narendra Modi cannot be expected to support the Muslim Reservation, he said.
He also alleged that TRS and BJP were secret partners which was visible from the fact that both Modi and KCR openly praises each other. He said TRS has given BJP an issue by bringing Reservation Bill.
Commenting on the Prime Minister’s recent statement advocating special attention for backward Muslims, Digvijay Singh said that the Prime Minister has started this new narrative about three months ago.
He said that Modi was banking on issues like Tripe Talaq, Beef, Gau Hatya, Ghar Wapasi, Love Jihad, etc., to to hide his failures in bringing back black money, providing 2 crore jobs, depositing Rs. 15 lakh in each account or ensuring promised ‘Ache Din’ for the people of India.
He said that the economic conditions in the country have not improved. Manufacturing sector is not doing well and as against the promised 2 crore jobs, not even 1.5 lakh jobs were being created every year.
He said that the Triple Talaq was not an issue and its decision should be left to the Muslim community. He said that the government should focus on tackling unemployment and development.
Digvijay Singh also slammed the Modi Government for its U-turn on major issues like NREGS, FDI in retail and Goods and Services Tax Bill.
He said that the GST Bill in the present format would not benefit the country and it has six different tax rates and registered traders would have to file over 36 returns ever year.
He said that the GST Bill, in present format, would badly hurt the small and medium traders.
He also accused the PDP-BJP Government of Jammu & Kashmir and NDA Government at the Centre of mishandling the sensitive issue of Kashmir. He said that Kashmir was going through a difficult phase due to the wrong policies of Modi Government.
Digvijay Singh, who is incharge of Telangana Congress affairs, informed that the organisational elections in Congress party would be completed by middle of October month.
He said that the party’s membership drive would end on 15th May and those having membership from 1st June 2014 to 31st May 2017 would be eligible to contest the elections.
He also expressed satisfaction over the performance of present TPCC team led by its N. Uttam Kumar Reddy in Telangana State.
Earlier, speaking to media persons, Uttam Kumar Reddy informed that the constitution of new District Congress Committee (DCCs) would be completed by first week of May.
He said that the new committees were being formed through wide consultations. He said as advised by AICC Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, village and booth-level committees were also being constituted.
He also informed that Rahul Gandhi might visit Telangana on the occasion of State’s third anniversary celebrations in June this year.
Leader of Opposition K. Jana Reddy, TPCC Working President Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, Vice-President Nagaiah and Youth Congress president Anil Kumar Yadav were also present. (INN)