The State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday criticised the State government’s decision on changing the criterion for granting minority status to primary schools and said the very purpose of the Right to Education (RTE) Act had been defeated by reducing the intake percentage of students belonging to minority communities.

The previous BJP government had ordered that a minority school should have 75 per cent intake of students of a notified minority community. On June 13, the State Cabinet decided to reduce the intake to 25 per cent.

The former Ministers S. Suresh Kumar, C.T. Ravi, and D.N. Jeevaraj told presspersons here that changing the criterion for granting minority status to primary schools would drastically reduce the number of seats available under the RTE quota for children belonging to underprivileged sections in private schools. The decision would increase the demand for minority tag for schools and such schools were exempted from admitting students under the RTE quota, they said.

The decision to change the criterion had violated the spirit of the Constitution and would encourage private managements to do business, they alleged. After the debacle in the general elections, the Congress wanted to please the minority community by granting minority tag for many schools. But the implementation of the RTE Act, which was introduced by the previous United Progressive Alliance government, would be hit hard on account of the “faulty decision”, they alleged.

There were more than 2,498 schools in Bangalore South and Bangalore North taluks and more than 60 per cent of them would not become eligible for admissions under the RTE quota. “Minority managements are more important than students for the Congress government. The government has diluted the very concept of minority,” Mr. Ravi alleged.

The BJP leaders said the new definition would come in the way of providing education to students belonging to minority communities. By limiting the intake of students belonging to minority at 25 per cent, managements would provide admission to students belonging to non-minority community. The party had decided to raise the issue during the coming session of the State legislature, they said.