WRB: Association of Muslim Professionals intensifies effort for Muslim quota

By TCN News,

Mumbai: The Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP) is intensifying its efforts for inclusion of Muslims quota in the Women Reservation Bill (WRB). While making it clear that they are not against women reservation, the group said the passage of the bill in the present form will diminish the presence of Muslims in Parliament and state assemblies. To step up the demand for provision for Muslim women in the WRB, the group will meet MPs, file online petition, carry out signature campaign and will address press conferences in different cities.

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AMP, a non-profit, non-political and non-sectarian organization, conducted discussions and debates on this Women Reservation Bill at various places in Mumbai, and other cities across the country, and based on conclusions reached, and feedback from various luminaries, intellectuals, and the general masses AMP has decided to demand quota within quota for Muslim and other minority women and backward classes. WRB was recently passed in the Rajya Sabha, and will be introduced in the Lok Sabha in the coming session beginning April 15.

The AMP has put its view/stand on the issue in 7-point statement. Some of the points are:

1. The proposed legislation to reserve 33% percent seats in Parliament, and State Legislatures for women which was first introduced in the Lok Sabha on September 12, 1996 would only help women of the elitist groups to gain seats, therefore causing further discrimination and under-representation of the poor, and backward classes.

2. Reservations for Dalit seats have been made specifically in areas where Muslims are in substantial numbers, often 50% or more. So no Muslim can get elected from those constituencies, as Dalit Muslims have not been granted the ‘Dalit’ status, in spite of Ranganath Mishra Commission having recommended it, firmly. AMP’s apprehension is that with women’s reservation, the total number of such ‘reserved’ seats will further mitigate the chances for Muslims to get elected.

3. Despite having a population of around 13.4 per cent, Muslims have only 5.52% representation in the Parliament. Currently there are 29 Muslim MPs in the country in the 15th Lok Sabha which includes only three Muslim women MPs (approx 5%). If 33 % reservation for women is added to the existing 22.5 % for scheduled castes and tribes, more than 50 per cent of seats in Parliament would be reserved. This will result in drastic reduction of the already ridiculously low representation of the Minorities, especially Muslims in the Parliament.

To press the demand for quota within quota for Muslims and other backward groups, AMP is filing an Online Petition today (1st April). They will launch Signature Campaign on memorandum from Friday (2nd April) and will start meeting as many MPs as possible to present memorandum and discuss issue with them from (3rd April) in cities like Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Patna and Delhi. The group will hold press conference with representatives of all leading NGOs who have endorsed to the memorandum.

Website of AMP: