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Quota for Muslims politically motivated: Sharad Yadav

Special Correspondent

"Andhra Government move is against Constitution"

NEW DELHI: The chairman of the Janata Dal (United) Parliamentary Board, Sharad Yadav, on Wednesday said the Andhra Pradesh Government's decision to make five per cent reservation for Muslims in educational institutions and government jobs was violative of the Constitution and against the spirit of the reservation policy.

Mr. Yadav told reporters that the State Government should have consulted all political parties before taking such a decision that seemed to be in pursuit of electoral politics.

The Mandal Commission had given reservation to Muslims on the basis of social and educational backwardness and there was no constitutional provision for reservation on grounds of religion or community.

"This politically motivated move of the Andhra Pradesh Government, supported by the UPA Government at the Centre, is violative of Articles 14, 15, 16 and 340,'' he said.

Affirmative action

Mr. Yadav said he favoured affirmative action for the socially and educationally backward classes.

"The general five per cent reservation for Muslims dilutes affirmative action for Dalit Muslims who are included in the 27 per cent reservation for backward communities. There is a good chance that the five per cent would be cornered by the elite among the Muslims while the Dalit Muslims might face resentment by other communities in the 27 per cent. This reservation on the basis of religion smacks of divisive politics and needs to be debated,'' he said.

The Government should try and help Muslims, not by politically appeasing them but by genuinely looking at their educational and social needs. If backward Muslims were left out of the Mandal Commission list, the National Commission for Backward Classes could go into that and include them.

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