Demand for Muslim quota gathering momentum in UP

By Faisal Fareed,,

Lucknow: Giving a new twist to the ‘letter politics’ between Chief Minister and Prime Minister over reservation to Muslims, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh declared that if his party comes to power in UP it would give reservation to dalit Muslims akin to dalit Hindus.

“If Congress comes to power in UP our government will give reservation to dalit Muslims,” Singh said while speaking in Dalit Muslim Reservation Convention held at Jyotiba Phule Park here on Sunday.

Dalit Muslim Reservation Convention held at Jyotiba Phule Park in Lucknow on 11th Dec. 2011.

He said the state governments have the right to give reservation to religious minority. The states like Kerala, Karnataka and Andhara Pradesh have given reservation to Muslims. “Our Government in UP would take a leaf out of these states and introduce reservation for Muslims in UP,” he said.

Mayawati and Dr Mamohan Singh had recently exchanged letters over giving reservation of religious minority – especially Muslims. Prime Minister has clarified that Union Government has no right to introduce reservation for Muslims but states can do if they desire so.

The demand of giving reservation to Muslims is gaining ground in wake of forthcoming assembly elections in UP. It is believed that Union Government might introduce reservation of Muslims within OBC and this declaration could be made before UP elections.

“Dalit Hindus are enjoying the benefits of reservations through article 341 but Dalit Muslims are deprived of it, which is complete injustice with them. This issue will be resolved soon,” he said.

Singh said Congress was committed for welfare of Muslims and therefore the party had mentioned in its Lok Sabha manifesto about implementation of Sachar Committee’s recommendations.

Also present on the occasion, renowned social activist, Teesta Setalvad lashed out the politicians not considering this issue of Social Justice.
She said that today all went to Anti-corruption movement taking place at Jantar-Mantar in New Delhi but none of them came for being part of this cause. This issue of reservation is much bigger than corruption issue.
“The central government has not shown their interest for the betterment of Muslims, that’s why they were not serious about implementation of recommendations made by Sachar Committee, amendment in article 341 and several other issues including security,” she added.

She told that several riots which took place since independence were the root cause for the backwardness of Muslims, yet no strong step was taken over the issue. The central government has prepared the draft of Communal Violence Bill but not presenting it in parliament for discussion, it should be tabled as security is also major concern for Muslims. “After the discussion on bill begins, it will reveal the true face of all those political leaders who call themselves secular,” she said.

Later, President of All India United Muslim Morcha, Dr MA Siddiqui handed over a memorandum to Digvijay Singh addressing Prime Minister.
“We have been agitating since past 18 years for reservations of Dalit Muslims and Christians due to which National Minority Commission, Constitution Review Commission, Sachar Committee and other commissions recommended for the reservations.

“Not only commissions but in year 2000 Bihar’s Legislative assembly and legislative council, in year 2006 Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly and Andhra Pradesh’s Government in year 2009, after passing proposal for reservation of dalit Muslims has sent to Central Government,” he added.