Telangana to pass Muslim, ST quota bills in March

Hyderabad, (IANS): Telangana will pass two legislations during the ongoing Budget session to enhance reservation for the Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Muslims, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao said on Saturday.

He told the state assembly that the two bills would be tabled and passed during the ongoing session.

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He said he would then lead an all-party delegation to New Delhi to urge the Centre to include the legislations in the Constitution’s 9th Schedule as was done in the case of Tamil Nadu.

The Budget session, which began on Friday, will continue till March 27.

Rao assured the house that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi government will fulfil its commitment to enhance quota to Muslims and STs to 12 per cent each.

Muslims, who constitute 12.68 per cent of Telangana’s 3.52 crore population, currently enjoy four per cent quota in education and jobs.

The STs, who are 9.34 per cent of the population, are availing six per cent reservation.

Enhancing the quota for Muslims and STs will take total reservation in the state to over 50 per cent, the upper limit prescribed by the Supreme Court, thus requiring a constitutional amendment.

Laws under the 9th Schedule cannot be challenged in a court of law.

The Chief Minister had earlier said that if the central government refuses to include the laws in the 9th Schedule, the state would fight a legal battle.