Adopt Karnataka formula on reservation for Muslims: Deve Gowda

H.D. Deve Gowda

H.D. Deve Gowda  

Special Correspondent

Four per cent quota for Muslims smoothly implemented in State

Says there was no opposition from BJPFor keeping out creamy layer in SC/ST

NEW DELHI: Janata Dal (Secular) president H.D. Deve Gowda on Wednesday wanted the Karnataka formula, providing four per cent reservation for Muslims, to be adopted as a "model" for the entire country. It had been smoothly implemented by successive Governments and had stood the test of time.

Addressing a press conference here, he said although the Bharatiya Janata Party had opposed reservation for Muslims, the party, which was in alliance with the ruling JD (S) in Karnataka, had not opposed the policy in the State.

Mr. Gowda said the formula was introduced in 1995 when he was the Chief Minister. A radical feature of the policy was the 30 per cent quota provided for women in each of the categories. The overall cap for reservation was 50 per cent, which was in tune with the Supreme Court ruling.

The formula found favour with all sections as it ensured social equality and justice for all.

There was no protest from either the BJP, which was the major Opposition party when the formula was implemented, or any section of society.

Giving details of the Karnataka model, he said while 50 per cent of all government jobs were open for meritorious candidates under the general category, 15 per cent was reserved for the Scheduled Castes and three per cent for the Scheduled Tribes. For the Backward Castes, divided into various categories, four per cent reservation was given to category 1, 15 per cent to category 2A, four per cent to Muslims under category 2B, four per cent to category 3A and five per cent to category 3B.

Mr. Gowda said the JD(S)-BJP ruling coalition, headed by his son H.D. Kumaraswamy, was committed to following the common minimum programme agreed upon at the time of formation of the Government.

Mr. Gowda suggested that while the extent of quota for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes remain unchanged, the creamy layer within the two groups that had benefited for 58 years should now "pave the way for their less privileged brethren who remain marginalised."

Residential schools

He later told The Hindu that as Chief Minister he set up six residential schools exclusively for poor students from the Muslim community and 20 such schools for those from the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

Asked whether the JD(S) proposed to join the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, he said at the time of the formation of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre in 2004 he had given letters of support to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He had not withdrawn them.

Joining hands with BJP

On whether he was still upset with his son for joining hands with the BJP, he said the way in which the JD(S)-BJP Government was working to protect the minorities and the downtrodden must be appreciated by all.

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