Vijayawada

Caste composition changed in Assembly post TDP entry

The caste composition in the Assembly has undergone a noticeable change. While a few could consolidate their position in the political arena post-emergence of the TDP in 1983, a few have nearly been decimated with their representation coming down to little over or less than 1%.

The representation of the communities like the Velamas, the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas etc has come down compared to 1952-1978 and 1983-2014. There were 69 Brahmin MLAs between 1952-1978 and the strength has dwindled to six during 1983-2014. Likewise, there were 74 Kshatriya MLAs in 1952-1978 which has come down to 68 during 1983-2014. Their portion is, apparently, shared by other communities like Kamma, Kapu, Reddy and BCs and marginally by Vysyas and Velamas. The BCsrepresentation increased to 258 MLAs during 1983-2014 from 164 between 1952-1978.

The Vysya and the Velama representation increased marginally during the period. While there were 19 Vysya MLAs post TDP formation it went up to 26 between 1983 and 2014. Strikingly the representation of the Reddy community has increased to 23.8% from 21.01% (1952-1978). Partially, it could be due to the defeat of the TDP in the 1989 elections. It secured a mere 55 of the 187 seats in Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of the combined State when 53 Reddys, including 7 belonging to the TDP, were elected. And, 350 Reddy MLAs got elected between 1983-2014 compared to 229 in 1952-1978. Compared to it, the Kamma representation increased by 1.75% from 18.5% in 1952-78 — 297 candidates got elected during 1983-2014 as against 202 in 1952-78.

The Kapus, another dominant caste seen as a deciding factor by the political parties, has consolidated its presence from 5.7% in 1952 to 11.42% in 2014. While there were 166 MLAs between 1983-2014, their strength was 106 in 1952-1978. In fact, in December 2007, the Assembly unanimously passed legislation to provide 5% reservation for the community in government jobs and educational institutions. In another bid to woo the Kapus, the TDP decided to earmark 5% of the 10% quota given by the Centre for the EBCs in the open category.

The TDP and the YSR Congress have been leaving no stone unturned to woo the BCs. The TDP organised Jayaho BC while the YSRC conducted BC Garjana as a run-up to the elections. The overall representation increased by 2.5% post-1983. The BC representation was 15% between 1952 and 1978 which touched 17.5% between 1983-2014. Among the BCs, Koppula Velama got elected in highest number (27 during 1952-1978 and 52 between 1983-2014) compared to one each of Goona Rajaka and Jangama castes. Toorpu Kapu, Gowda, Palinati Velama, Kalinga, Yadava, Settibalija and fishermen are some other castes among the BCs, whose representation is high.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2021 8:11:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/caste-composition-changed-in-assembly-post-tdp-entry/article26646458.ece

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