Only after carrying out a caste-based census and ascertaining the [fresh] quantum of reservation for the State will it be legally proper to resolve the issue of separate reservation [for Vanniyars or any such group], Chief Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi said on Thursday.
Counselling patience on this issue, Mr Karunanidhi said all those concerned should cooperate with each other and should not lose what was being enjoyed.
Responding to Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S. Ramadoss' demand for a separate quota for the Vanniyars, the Chief Minister said that under the recent interim order of the Supreme Court on the constitutional validity of the 1994 law on 69 per cent reservation, any move to provide separate reservation for Vanniyars and other such groups would be permissible only after undertaking the caste-based census. Otherwise, it would be against the law.
On the basis of the Supreme Court order, the State government had to provide necessary data to the State Backward Classes Commission, which would examine them and create the opportunity for determining the new quantum of reservation.
The Commission had suggested that the State government approach the Central government for obtaining Rs. 400 crore, which was required to carry out the proposed Census in the State, the Chief Minister said.
While expressing his unwillingness to get drawn into the debate on the basis of Dr. Ramadoss' position that the Vanniyars could be provided 20 per cent quota on the lines of exclusive reservation for Arundathiyars and Muslims, Mr Karunanidhi, however, said it would not be appropriate to compare the two.
Initiative by DMK
Mr. Karunanidhi recalled the history of communal reservation in the State and explained a number of steps taken by the DMK regime in safeguarding the concept of reservation.