Special Correspondent

Waiting for Backward Classes Commission recommendations, says Rangasamy

PUDUCHERRY: Just as the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) on Thursday set a deadline of 10 days for the Puducherry government to issue ordinance for providing a separate quota for Muslims and Christians, Chief Minister N.Rangasamy said that steps had already been initiated in this regard.

Shortly after PMK founder S. Ramadoss addressed a rally near the Assembly to highlight the demand, a delegation led by party president G.K. Mani called on Mr. Rangasamy and presented a memorandum on the issue.

The PMK urged the government to convene a special session of the Assembly to discuss the issue and enact a law to provide exclusive reservation. It also asked the government to forward the Act to the Union Home Ministry for its approval.

The PMK Ministers in the United Progressive Alliance government and PMK MPs would support the government’s efforts to get the Central approval for the law, the memorandum said.

According to the 2001 census, a total of 1,28,896 Muslims and Christians, forming 13.2 per cent of the population, resided in all the four regions - Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam.

The demand for a separate quota acquired significance against the backdrop of the recommendations of the Rajinder Sachar Committee and the Ranganath Mishra Commission, the memorandum said.

Speaking at the rally, Mr. Mani cautioned the Puducherry government against delaying the decision on the issue. If the government did not come forward to implement reservation for the Muslims and Christians, the PMK would intensify its agitation , he said.

General secretary of the Puducherry unit of the PMK M. Ramadass urged the government to take steps to enact the law within 10 days.

If the government failed to do so, the party founder would take it up directly with the Centre, he said.

Convener of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam R.V.Janakiraman said the Puducherry government could not delay the process.

He promised to take it up with the Chief Minister.

After going through the memorandum, Mr. Rangasamy told the PMK delegation that he had already referred the issue to the Backward Classes Commission.

The government would announce its decision after receiving the commission’s recommendations, he said.