Discussion held on quota issue: Dharam Singh

Chief Minister to discuss amendment of Article 371 with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Special Correspondent

GULBARGA: Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh on Thursday said that the letter written by Janata Dal (Secular) President H.D. Deve Gowda seeking categorisation of the reservation of the backward classes was not discussed at the Cabinet meeting and added that an informal discussion between Ministers was held on the issue after the meeting.

Speaking to presspersons at the temporary helipad at the Taluk Stadium in the outskirts of Jewargi town 50 km from here, Mr. Dharam Singh said that based on the informal discussions he has asked Das, Chief Secretary, to study the demands and place a note in the Cabinet on a later date.

He refuted the allegations made by Hyderabad-Karnataka Horata Samiti President and former Minister Vaijnath Patil that Mr. Deve Gowda is pressuring the Government not to press for the amendment of Article 371 to provide special reservation in employment and educational opportunities to the backward classes. Mr. Dharam Singh said it was Mr. Deve Gowda who raised the issue of backwardness of the Hyderabad Karnataka region in the assembly in 1981 when Gundu Rao was Chief Minister. Mr. Dharam Singh said the State Government continued to pressure the Union Government to amend Article 371 of the Constitution to enable the State Government to provide special reservation to the backward classes. He said the State Government had rejected the proposal of the Union Home Ministry to amend Article 371 to provide statutory status to the development boards instead of providing special reservation in employment and educational opportunities. He said he will raise the issue with Union Home Minister Shivaraj Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his next visit to New Delhi.

Minister for Water Resources Mallikarjun Kharge, in reply to a question, said he has not decided to resign from his post and will go by the wishes of the party high command.

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