Special Correspondent

Plan to provide quota in all educational institutions and employment

  • Job skills to be imparted to unemployed youth
  • 50 students' hostels to be built at a cost of Rs. 2.50 crore

    CHENNAI: The State Government would bring out legislation on reservation for Christian and Muslim religious minorities in all educational institutions and employment, Minister for Backward Classes M.R.K.Panneerselvam told the Assembly on Monday.

    Intervening in the debate on the demand for grants for Backward Classes (BC), Most Backward Classes (MBC) and Minorities Welfare, he said the issue of providing the religious minorities quota was referred to the State Backward Classes Commission before enacting the law.

    S.M.Velusamy (AIADMK) raised doubts about the possibility of enacting the law, as the Government had extended the term of office of the reconstituted Tamil Nadu Backward Classes Commission to two years, though the panel constituted by the previous AIADMK Government had fixed the term for one year.

    Minister for Environment T.P.M. Mohideen Khan said the AIADMK, which now pleaded for reservation for the minorities, had opposed the Andhra Pradesh Government's move to extend the quota system for Muslims.

    Congress Legislature Party Whip Peter Alphonse said religious minorities were deprived of their rights and freedom during the AIADMK rule. When AIADMK Members were on their feet protesting against his remark, Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi intervened to say that the main opposition could express its view after Mr. Alphonse completed his speech.

    Bader Sayeed (AIADMK) asked how the DMK Government could implement the proposed legislation on reservation for the minorities against the backdrop of the stand of the Centre, of which the ruling party is a constituent, that it would not extend reservation to Muslims in education or government service. She dared the Chief Minister to announce that his party would withdraw support to the Centre on the issue.

    Intervening, Minister for Higher Education K. Ponmudi said representation to Muslims was not given in the AIADMK Ministry. The present Government had two Muslims as Ministers, he said.

    Since the previous AIADMK Government had filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court agreeing to confine the quota to 50 per cent, the DMK Government had to strive for alternative measures to continue 69 per cent reservation, said Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veerasamy.

    Information Minister Parithi Ilamvazhuthi wanted to know who extended support to `kar seva' during the demolition of Babri Masjid. This led to protests from the AIADMK members.

    Walkout by AIADMK

    Following Speaker's denial of permission to AIADMK whip K.A.Sengottaiyan to raise a point of order, the party members staged a walkout.

    Replying to the debate, Mr. Panneerselvam said 42 job skills would be imparted to 13,290 unemployed youth at a cost of Rs.10 crore in the current year. Fifty hostels built at a cost of Rs.2.50 crore would be dedicated to students, he said.

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