The Andhra Pradesh government on Friday decided to include Kapus, a community so far considered “upper caste”, in the Other Backward Classes category, and provide them 5% reservation in education and employment, The Times of India reported.
The state Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, approved the Justice Manjunatha Commission’s recommendations to earmark 5% for Kapus. The commission had been constituted to look into the status of Other Backward Classes and the several-decades-old demand to include Kapus and their subsections – Telaga, Balija and Ontari – into the category.
Other Backward Classes currently have 25% reservation under five sub-categories: A, B, C, D and E. Kapus, a predominant caste in coastal Andhra with a powerful political backing, will be included as the sixth sub-category F.
The quota is not likely to come into effect immediately, as the total percentage of reservations in the state will go up to 51, which is beyond the 50% ceiling set by the Supreme Court.
“It requires an amendment to the Ninth Schedule of the Indian Constitution for inclusion of the Kapus in the OBC category so as to increase the total percentage of reservations to 51, as was done in the case of Tamil Nadu, where there is 69% quota for all categories of weaker sections,” Minister for Human Resource Development Ganta Srinivasa Rao told The Hindustan Times.
The state Assembly will debate the reservation on Saturday. If it is passed in the Assembly, it will be sent to the Centre for the President’s approval.