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Nod for reservation for minorities

Special Correspondent

Government to accept Backward Classes Commission's recommendation

Legal steps will be taken: KarunanidhiDetails after consulting DPA allies Long-pending demand "fulfilled"

CHENNAI: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) Government on Thursday decided to accept the recommendation of the Tamil Nadu Backward Classes Commission (TNBCC) to accord separate reservation for Muslims and Christians.

Intervening in the debate on the demands for grants for the Department of Backward Classes, Most Backward Classes and Minorities, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said the Government would take legal steps to provide reservation for the minorities after the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case relating to implementation of 69 per cent reservation in the State.

Complete details on the modalities of the quota for Muslims and Christians would be announced after consulting the alliance parties, he added.

First `Communal G.O.'

Describing Tamil Nadu as the birthplace of social justice, Mr. Karunanidhi said the first "Communal G.O.," issued by the then Justice Party Government in 1921 provided for reservation for Muslims and Christians.

Subsequently the 1927 order paved the way for adopting the "Quota and Rota" system that ensured separate reservation for Muslims and Christians in rotation on the basis of their respective population, he recalled.

Justice Party legacy

The DMK, which inherited the legacy of the Justice Party, included the Urdu-speaking Lebbais and Dekhani Muslims under the Backward Classes list in 1973-74, Mr. Karunanidhi said.

The demand for separate quotas for Muslims and Christians in educational institutions and government jobs was long pending, he said. Having accepted the demand, the DMK in its manifesto for the 2006 Assembly elections had promised to fulfil it, he said.

He also referred to the budget for 2006-07, which said: "As promised in the election manifesto, this Government will urge the Central Government to provide reservation for minority communities of the Muslims and Christians in educational institutions and employment. This Government will also take concrete action to provide reservation for them in our State."

The TNBCC headed by Justice M.S. Janarthanam, on the request made by the State Government, had given its recommendations, after a detailed review, on the issue of providing reservation for the minorities, Mr. Karunanidhi said.

Separate quotas

The TNBCC had recommended that separate quotas could be provided to Muslims and Christians on the basis of the report of the Second Backward Classes Commission headed by J.A. Ambasankar, which furnished the data with regard to the population of the backward classes among Hindus, Muslims and Christians.

"The Tamil Nadu Government has decided to accept the recommendation [of the TNBCC] which is agreeable to all and is legal," he said.

Decision welcomed

Welcoming the decision, All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam deputy leader O. Paneerselvam urged the Government to expedite the case concerning provision of 69 per cent reservation that is pending before the apex court.

Whip of the Congress Legislature Party S. Peter Alphonse; leader of the Pattali Makkal Katchi G.K. Mani; Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader C. Govindasamy; Communist Party of India leader V. Sivapunniyam; Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Whip N. Ramakrishnan and DMK Member M.A. Khaleelur Rahman, also commended the Government for the decision to provide reservation for Muslims and Christians.