Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Tuesday asserted that the Vanniyar community had got more seats in professional colleges after exclusive reservation was made for the Most Backward Classes in the State.

During the discussion on demands for the Backward Classes and Most Backward Classes and Minorities Department in the Assembly, the Chief Minister disputed Pattali Makkal Katchi leader G.K. Mani's contention that the Vanniyar community was not getting its due share in professional colleges because it was clubbed with 108 communities in the Most Backward Classes list.

Mr. Karunanidhi said it was wrong to say that the community was not getting its due share. Though there were 108 communities in the MBC list, the population of many of the communities was not equal to that of the Vanniyar community. There were communities that had a population of only 1,000. So it was wrong to say that Vanniyars' share had been reduced.

If community leaders compared the number of seats the Vanniyars had secured when they were in the Backward Classes list with the seats they had been allotted after they were included in the MBC list, they would definitely agree that the community had obtained more seats.

T. Velmurugan (PMK) said there was no doubt that thousands of students belonging to the Vanniyar community were benefitted after separate reservation was made for MBCs. The community was thankful to the Chief Minister. But many students belonging to forward communities from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka managed to obtain MBC certificates and were cornering quite a number of seats in professional colleges depriving genuine MBC students of reservation benefit. That was why his party was demanding compartmental reservation for various communities.

The Chief Minister replied that the government would take steps to prevent such misuse of reservation.

Earlier, Mr. Mani and M.K. Vishnuprasad (Congress) appealed to the Chief Minister to urge the Central government to carry out caste-based census to ensure social justice in the State. They also wanted increase in percentage of reservation for the MBCs and Scheduled Castes.