The Telangana Assembly on Sunday passed the Backward Class, Scheduled Caste & Scheduled Tribe Reservation Bill, 2017, to increase reservation for the socially and economically backward classes, including those among Muslims, ANI reported. The Bill increases the reservation in jobs and education for Muslims from 4% to 12%. It also increases reservation for backward classes from 6% to 10%.

The proposed quotas increase the percentage of reservation in Telangana from 50% to 62%. The Bill has been vociferously opposed by opposition party Bharatiya Janata Party, which has described it as “communal”. All five BJP MLAs were suspended from the House for creating a ruckus as the Bill was being passed in a special session of the Assembly.

The Telangana Rashtriya Samiti, led by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, had earlier promised to provide 12% reservation to backward sections among Muslims. This was part of the party’s election manifesto. The Bill will need the Centre’s approval to be implemented as the percentage of quotas has now gone beyond the 50% cap. However, the government hopes that the Centre will give its assent as Tamil Nadu already has 69% quota for marginalised groups.