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House wants OBC, Muslim reservation

Special Correspondent

Assembly adopts unanimous resolutions requesting the Centre to take the necessary steps

HYDERABAD: The State Assembly unanimously resolved on Friday to support the Centre's initiatives in respect of reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and to request it to take the necessary steps for its expeditious resolution.

Although the resolution was adopted on the Opposition's insistence against the backdrop of the Supreme Court's stay on the law providing for 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes in higher educational institutions, it was so worded as to avoid any mention of the apex court or its order.

Simultaneously, the House adopted another resolution, also unanimously, requesting the Centre to take all appropriate measures for reservation for socially and educationally backward Muslims.

Both resolutions were proposed by Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy following a vociferous Opposition demand even as Speaker K. R. Suresh Reddy doubted whether discussion on the apex court's judgment would not lead to transgression into judiciary. Earlier, Telugu Desam members stormed the podium with full-throated slogans "justice to OBCs".

The Telugu Desam, CPI, CPI(M) and Telangana Rashtra Samithi supported the resolutions but described the wording deficient. Instead, the demand should have been to summon Parliament immediately to take up Constitutional amendment to protect the OBC reservation.

Amendments proposed

Leader of the Opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu proposed amendments to both resolutions, the latter urging the UPA Government to withdraw its affidavit before the Supreme Court with regard to reservation for Muslims. Mr. Naidu said his party was committed to 5 per cent reservation to Muslims. Both his amendments were lost in voice vote.

Akbaruddin Owaisi (MIM) complimented the Chief Minister for the resolution on Muslim reservation, and criticised the Telugu Desam for shedding crocodile tears for Muslims after joining hands with the BJP. G. Kishen Reddy (BJP), however, said reservation could not be given on the basis of religion.

The Chief Minister stuck to the original wording of the resolutions, saying there was need to exercise caution while dealing with the Supreme Court. However, he offered to highlight the Opposition's demands during the meeting of the State's all-party delegation with the Prime Minister on Sunday urging him to prevail over the Maharashtra Government to stop construction of the Babli project.

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