The Telangana unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday dismissed the state government’s new Backward Class, Scheduled Caste & Scheduled Tribe Reservation Bill, 2017, as “trash” and said that it would never be approved by the Centre, PTI reported. The Bill, which was passed the state Assembly in a special session on Sunday, proposes to grant 12% reservation in government jobs and educational institutes to impoverished members of the minority group.
The BJP, an opposition party in Telangana, has stridently opposed the Bill, saying that it goes against the spirit of the Constitution and is “communal”. “At the party level, we are going to utilise this as a great opportunity for the rise of the BJP in Telangana,” party spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao told the news agency. “And at the [central] government level, this will be quashed right at the beginning.”
The Bill, passed by both Houses of the Telangana Legislature on Sunday, has no legal and constitutional validity as the state government did not follow due process and system, according to Rao. “Religion cannot be the basis for reservations, and, legally, it is not viable as both the High Court and the Supreme Court has capped reservation at 50%,” he said.
The Telangana Rashtriya Samiti, led by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, had promised to provide 12% reservation to backward sections among Muslims in 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. Tamil Nadu has 69% reservation.