Rajya Sabha MP and senior BJP leader K. Laxman on Monday said that the Centre’s nod is not required for the State government to implement the 10% quota for Scheduled Tribes, and accused Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao of delaying the implementation for the last eight years, depriving scores of youngsters of access to higher education and jobs.
“Is K. Chandrasekhar Rao not aware that the Constitution has given States the freedom to have reservations based on the population mix for the socially disadvantaged communities? There are States with high ST quota because of their high numbers in the population. The erstwhile NTR government hiked quota for SC/ST without any issue. He is just cheating tribals and trying to shift the blame onto the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to cover up his own failures,” he told a press conference at the party office.
Mr. Laxman, also the national OBC president for the party, pointed out that if the Chief Minister intends to implement the enhanced quota for STs issuing a GO, there is no need to drag the Centre into the issue. “Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao promised 12% quota for STs before elections despite being well aware that their population is less than 10%. He also announced 12% quota for Muslims, equal to their population. The STs quota was lowered to 10% and was clubbed with the 12% quota for minorities knowing pretty well that reservations based on religion is against the Constitution,” he charged.
The BJP leader demanded the Chief Minister implement the quota immediately and accused the latter of coming up with ‘Girijan Bandhu’ only because of the forthcoming Munugode byelection just as he had unveiled the ‘Dalit Bandhu’ before the Huzurnagar bypoll. The TRS government had earlier reduced the quota for BCs from 34% to 20% in the local bodies and this is sufficient evidence to expose the double standards, he alleged.
“No other State government has resorted to this low level politics to fool people. Telangana people have lot of self-respect and have had enough of the KCR chicanery, hence are ready to defeat the corrupt and dynastic regime,” he charged.
The MP forsaw the TRS and Congress coming together “before or after” the elections but this will not have any effect on BJP or Mr. Modi despite the “vicious propaganda”. “Their single point agenda is to oppose the Prime Minister, shedding aside their ideological differences. He (Modi) is giving corruption-free and dynasty-free administration for the last 20 years - 13 as Gujarat Chief Minister and eight years as the Prime Minister and has gained majority people’s support,” he added.
Earlier, Mr. Laxman inaugurated a photo exhibition on the occasion of Mr. Modi’s birthday celebrations which will go on for a fortnight till Oct. 2 across the country, inside the State office. A series of welfare activities are being taken up across the State, and already about 5,000 units of blood was collected, 25 medical camps held and plantation of saplings is going on.