Raising concern over giving hike in quota reservation for Muslims by Telangana government, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said “communal reservation” would divide the country and the BJP has “every right” to oppose the decision.
“We have got every right to oppose. We are opposed to any communal reservation. It is not because of TRS now (in Telangana) ... when Rajasekhara Reddy (former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister) brought it, we opposed it; when Chandrababu Naidu proposed it we had opposed it and when TRS brings it, we will oppose it because communal reservation will divide the country,” he told reporters here.
The Union Information and Broadcasting Minister said BJP will lend support to the ruling TRS government in Telangana if it gives reservation on the basis of social, educational or economic backwardness.
“There are poor people among the Muslims. If they are socially, educationally and economically backward, there should be reservation, but not as a religion. BJP is against religious reservation,” he said.
Naidu said B R Ambedkar and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had said we cannot give reservation on the basis of religion, so that is why our founding fathers have refused to do it.
“Telangana government is free and they can bring a law, but I am sure this law will not stand scrutiny of the legal system,” he added.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had recently said his government would soon convene a special session of the Legislature for passage of the bill that seeks to increase quota for tribals and Muslims.
BJP has been organising protests against the TRS government’s proposal to increase the quota for Muslims, calling it an unconstitutional move. However, the state government had clarified that the reservation is proposed not on the basis of religion, but for the uplift of backward sections among Muslims.
To a query on the Hyderabad High Court acquitting Pidatala Satyam Babu in the sensational murder case of a pharmacy student, Naidu said the Andhra Pradesh government should re-investigate the matter.
“A person who is supposed to be innocent I don’t know... has been imprisoned and suffered a lot. Based on the observation of the judiciary, the state government must order re-inquiry into the entire thing. It should be seen that the real culprits are identified,” he added.
The high court had last week acquitted Babu, 30, who was jailed for eight years in connection with the murder of a female student on December 26, 2007 in a hostel near Vijayawada.