Kerala

LDF takes on IUML over quota issue

Leaders of various Muslim groups at a meeting on reservation in Malappuram early this week.  

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) on Wednesday seemed to scramble to prevent a mustering of backward class organisations under the aegis of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) against the government on the issue of providing 10% reservation in government jobs for economically disadvantaged persons from forward caste communities.

The CPI(M) State secretariat pointed out the IUML had backed the policy in its 2011 Assembly election manifesto. However, the party had backtracked on its stance to foment communal polarisation ahead of the elections in 2021.

The CPI(M) said the IUML premise that the government had stacked the decks in favour of forward caste communities in admission to professional colleges and employment in administration and public sector units was built on a set of tottering lies.

Bill passed in LS

The Lok Sabha had passed the Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019, with an overwhelming majority to succour the poor among forward castes without diminishing the existing 50% quota for SC/ST and backward class communities.

It had enhanced reservation from 50% to 60% to ensure that the allocation for historically marginalised sections of society remained intact.

The LDF government would ensure that nobody misused the new reservation policy to rob the backward classes and SC/ST communities of their due.

LDF manifesto

The LDF manifesto had promised social justice for all. The CPI(M) had recognised poverty as a marker of backwardness much earlier than other parties. It had ensured that the creamy layer ineligibility criteria did not deprive backward castes of their allocation.

CPI State secretary Kanam Rajendran said backward caste, and SC/ST communities would abandon the IUML when they realised that the 10% reservation for economically weaker sections among forward castes did not infringe on their 50% quota.

The State government had implemented the reservation policy carefully and under the supervision of a retired judge. It had taken special care that the amended norms did not harm the interests of backward sections of society, he said.

Support for LDF

The LDF appeared to have found support from unexpected quarters. The Syro-Malabar Church has criticised the IUML for opposing the economic reservation for the poor among forward castes. However, Latin Catholic social organisations have opposed the move.

The front was reportedly apprehensive that the “false campaign” on the reservation issue would render its traditional base among the numerously superior backward class voters hostile to the government ahead of the local body and Assembly elections.

Cong. cautious

The Congress seemed to have tread carefully on the issue so as not to provoke the influential backward class social organisations that appeared to be on the same page as the IUML.

KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran said the Congress had backed the amendment in Parliament.

However, the party was opposed to the bungling manner in which the LDF government had implemented the policy in Kerala. The political affairs committee of the KPCC would deliberate the issue, he said.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 12:15:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ldf-takes-on-iuml-over-quota-issue/article32964393.ece

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