Party had proposed categorisation in 1997 to ensure proportional benefits to all 59 sub-castes
After vacillating on the issue of categorisation of Scheduled Castes (SCs) for eight years, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has finally made up its mind to rely back on its original decision favouring the sub-quota within the SC reservation.
The intention behind the decision is to winning back a majority among SCs who have distanced from the party in the recent years. The main Opposition party is trying to project its decision as an attempt to ensure proportional benefits to all 59 sub-castes of SCs as part of its social justice policy, even at the cost of inviting backlash from one particular community.
TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu announced the decision after the polit bureau meeting here on Saturday stating that he would soon write to the Prime Minister requesting him to amend the Constitution to implement sub-quota for SCs to do justice to all communities. “We are not against any section of SCs but our only intention is to ensure social justice within SC reservation,” Mr. Naidu said rubbishing the allegations that the TDP was trying to divide SCs with a decision favouring categorisation.
It was the TDP that took the decision in 1997 to categorise SCs into A, B, C & D based on the recommendations of Justice Ramachandra Raju Commission that went into the socio-economic status of all sub-castes among SCs in 1996. Sub-quota for SCs was implemented from 2000 to 2004 by the TDP government, but it was set aside by the Supreme Court after Congress came to power in 2004.
Addressing a press conference after the polit bureau meeting, Mr. Naidu alleged that both the State and Central governments were indifferent to the drought conditions in the State. He faulted the government on fee-reimbursement and gas allocation issues and suggested the Chief Minister to review the decision to extend legal aid to tainted ministers, arguing that it would send wrong signals to people.
On the decision of social activist Anna Hazare to float a political party, Mr. Naidu felt it would weaken the movement against corruption.